Today Frieze and BMW revealed details of the 2022 BMW Open Work commission, curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini. Established in 2017, the joint initiative between BMW and Frieze brings together art, design and technology in a pioneering multi-platform format. This year, Los Angeles-based artist Nikita Gale will present an immersive installation in the BMW Lounge at Frieze London. Coinciding with Gale’s BMW Open Work Commission is the artist’s first UK solo exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery titled ‘IN A DREAM YOU CLIMB THE STAIRS’.
‘I couldn’t be more excited to work with an interesting artist such as Nikita Gale reshaping the unstable relationship between performer and spectator. Gale’s project for BMW Open Work 2022 will explore the relationship between technologies of speed and technologies of sound, reinforcing Frieze and BMW’s commitment to art and music.’Attilia Fattori Franchini
Investigating the history and politics of sound, Gale’s practice questions themes of invisibility and audibility, recasting the dynamic between performer and spectator. Within the work, notions of witnessing, visibility and representation are subverted and destabilized.
The technologies of sound and speed have been closely associated since the 1960’s. The Gibson Firebird, one of the most popular electric guitars, was created by car designer Ray Deitrich and introduced to the general public in 1963. Gale’s project 63/22 explores the relationship between these technologies and unfolds how they have culturally influenced one another through design. As part of the BMW Open Work 2022 commission, the artist will create a sculptural installation comprising a series of electric guitars imagined in collaboration with BMW i7 designers and activated by live performances in the space.
In addition, the artist will invite BMW i7 designers to sketch utopian, functional, and dysfunctional guitar bodies. These sketches will provide the starting point for the creation of sculptural guitars, a mixture between a functional object and an artwork.
‘Nikita Gale creates a forward-looking installation connecting music and arts – two fields that are also relevant for BMW’s cultural engagement. The sculptures, inspired by sketches from BMW i7 designers, strongly link the evolution of car and guitar design and see both cars and guitars as cultural and iconic objects. I can’t wait to see the result in our BMW Lounge at Frieze London in October.’Hedwig Solis-Weinstein, BWM Head of Arts & Thought Leadership Cooperations
BMW Open Work by Frieze is an annual initiative that brings together art, design and technology in a pioneering multi-platform format. Each year since 2017, BMW Open Work by Frieze invites an artist to create a visionary project inspired by technology, engineering prowess and BMW Design that explores current and future technologies as a vehicle for innovation and artistic experimentation.
Gale succeeds Madeline Hollander (2020-21) Camille Blatrix (2019), Sam Lewitt (2018) and Olivia Erlanger (2017) as the artist chosen for the BMW Open Work Commission.
Nikita Gale (b. 1983, Anchorage, Alaska; lives and works in Los Angeles) received an MFA from University of California, Los Angeles in 2016 and a BA from Yale University in 2006 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2019. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Chisenhale Gallery, London (2022); LAXART, Los Angeles (2022); 52 Walker, New York (2022); Anchorage Museum (2021); CIRCA in collaboration with Chisenhale Gallery, London (2021); California African-American Museum, Los Angeles (2021); MoMA PS1, New York (2020); the Visual Arts Center, University of Texas at Austin (2019); and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles (2018). Gale serves on the Board of Directors for Grex, the West Coast affiliate of the A. K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems. Gale is the recipient of a FOCA Fellowship (2021); a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2017).
Attilia Fattori Franchini is an independent curator and writer based in Vienna. Working on the creation of experimental contexts for the production and display of contemporary practices, her work deals with technology and power structures, moving image and the cinematic, late-capitalism and the creation of alternative forms of subjectivity and representation. She runs the independent space KUNSTVEREIN GARTENHAUS in Vienna and since 2017 is the curator of BMW Open Work by Frieze; Curva Blu, an artists’ residency on the island of Favignana, Sicily; and the Emergent section of miart Milan.