10/28/2010 08:29 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Club 21: Remaking the London Art Scene (VIDEO)

With the hype of the Frieze Art Fair, one of the most exciting events to arise from it came packaged as a re-invention of the art-club scene, where works such as sound art, performance and installations invited interaction between artists and audience at One Marylebone, covered by Steve Piccolo, sound artist and one of the protagonists of the New York underground scene in the 1980s explained how it started as a bold collaboration between Oxana Maleeva from Art Apart and gallerist Natasha Akhmerova of Barbarian Art Gallery who were urged to form Club 21 as a response to the lack of a "scene" today. He believed in the importance of accenting what was ephemeral, difficult to sell, things that would happen just the once and were hard to package. Yet valuable to "remember who your ancestors are, but once you know to think about what the scene could be like in the future."

Fellow artist and photographer Stephen Torten describes how to him art is a part of life so "being together should be remembered as the principle goal of the communication and interaction," which is what Club 21 is all about. He reminisces of his own experiences assisting Jean-Michel Basquiat in the 1980s, when art was an excuse to go out and going out was an excuse to make art, deeming it intrinsically linked to life. Piccolo goes on to call art a "gymnasium for your mind," a place where it can "exercise extreme creative capacity". Against a backdrop of sound events and performances, as well as large sculptures and installations, a number of outstanding composers and sound experimenters were invited to contribute recorded pieces that play with the idea of the "conversation." The event in part documents with all due respect the old scene, but more significantly it marks the buzzing hype of a fresh new one.

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Text by Carmen Ho for