Frieze New York 2018 News

Paper from the Sky: Bureaucracy Goes Weightless in Instituto de Visión Booth at Frieze

Otto Berchem & Amalia Pica, Mobilized (Shelf #1), 2017.


Three pieces of paper hover dreamily but also a bit drearily in the Frieze New York booth for Bogota, Colombia’s Instituto de Visión. Conceived and constructed as a collaboration between Otto Berchem and Amalia Pica, the sheets are dreamy for the air of mystery that seems to prop them up. But then the dreariness arrives—though not in a bad way, necessarily—once the subtext is made clear.

“They were interested in the idea of the weight of bureaucracy, the way life can be decided or defined by just one piece of paper and you can be sent to a non-place because of just one procedure,” Omayra Alvarado, the gallery’s director, said.

The work, Mobilize (Shelf #1), is part of a “Mobilize” show that the two artists staged in 2017, in devotion to the idea of contemplating “a fleeting moment of a cascade of falling papers.” It drew in part on video of sheets of colored paper being thrown up into the air, to float down by their own designs, and took form in part by way of sculptures fashioned from thermoformed acrylic and set out in different arrangements so as to twist and turn.

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