Al’s Grand Hotel (1971) with Public Fiction (2014)
On the occasion of the first edition of Frieze New York in 2012, Frieze Projects started a series of tributes to artist-run spaces that have defined and transformed the cultural life of contemporary cities. The first tribute dedicated to Fashion Moda and the work of John Ahearn was followed in 2013 by an homage to FOOD, the artists’ restaurant conceived by Gordon Matta- Clark and Carol Goodden.
For the 2014 edition of the fair, Frieze Projects celebrated Al’s Grand Hotel, a legendary project realized by Allen Ruppersberg in 1971 in Los Angeles. The fully operational hotel was open for six weeks and acted as a site for gatherings, parties, performances as well as a place to spend the night.
The seven rooms were functional installations, each one themed and built with vernacular materials. Purposefully temporary, the short-lived hotel remained as a landmark in Los Angeles’ history, highly representative of both Ruppersberg’s work and the artist-run initiatives in the city’s landscape: casual, temporary and changing, with an emphasis on experience and entrepreneurialism. To restage this project at Frieze New York, Ruppersberg has imagined less a remake and more a restaging of the hotel, carried out in collaboration with the Los Angeles project space Public Fiction. The project treats the hotel as a family enterprise that welcomes new input from a younger generation of associates and partners . Al’s Grand Hotel was restageded as a fully functioning hotel installed within the fair, with two rooms, a lobby and a new series of interventions. Visitors to the fair could become guests of the hotel and were allowed to book rooms in the hotel to spend the night.
Public Fiction is a project space and a journal in Northeast Los Angeles founded by Lauren Mackler and featuring a rotating cast of collaborators. The print catalogue and website texts for this project were co-authored by Cecilia Alemani and Lauren Mackler
Photograph by Marco Scozzaro.