Art Fair's Hotel Installation Lets Visitors Stay Overnight

The 2014 run of the Frieze New York art fair included an installation that let visitors sleep in custom rooms.

By Jim Shi May 19, 2014, 1:17 PM EDT

Photo: Marco Scozzaro/Frieze

Returning for a third consecutive year, the 2014 Frieze New York art fair took over Randall's Island May 9 to 12, bringing 192 galleries and an estimated 40,000 attendees to its custom structure. Two notable additions this year—which jutted out from east and west ends of the venue—were the special Gap White space curated with Visionaire and a recreation of Allen Ruppersberg’s iconic 1971 “Al’s Grand Hotel” art installation-cum-livable space.

Built in collaboration with Public Fiction as part of Frieze’s artist-run spaces and produced by Production Glue, “Al’s Grand Hotel” was restaged as a fully functioning hotel installed within the fair. The installation boasted two rooms, the “Jesus Room” and “Bridal Suite,” as well as a lobby and a new series of interventions.

Measuring a total of 787 square feet, the rooms each had three outlets built into the walls for lamps, televisions, and personal guest convenience. In order to ensure overnight guests had everything they needed for a comfortable night in the art fair, power, restrooms, security, meals, and cleaning services were provided. A shower trailer (with restroom facilities) was provided via a connector tent joined to the main tent with custom cut vinyl pieces around the sides and top of the joint to create a portal opening. A similar technique was used to seal each door to the shower trailer to the side of the connector tent. Water for the trailer was provided by water tankers and power for the trailer was supplied by portable generators.

Cleaning crews were brought in to provide housekeeping after guests checked out before the fair opened. Around-the-clock security was provided by a security guard as well as a hotel manager to accommodate guest needs.

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