More Diversity for Young Curators
Idris Khan Designs First Edition for Frieze x Deutsche Bank Emerging Curators Fellowship

Together with the London Frieze art fair and the renowned Chisenhale Gallery, Deutsche Bank is launching a new initiative for this year’s Frieze Week. The aim of the Frieze x Deutsche Bank Emerging Curators Fellowship is to help up-and-coming curators with a PoC (people of color) background in Great Britain gain a foothold in the art world. The initiative, which brings together artists and public and private supporters, seeks to heighten the visibility and diversity of the UK art scene. The first fellowship will be realized in partnership with the Chisenhale Gallery in London’s East End. The art space, where countless important contemporary artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans, Pipilotti Rist, Helen Marten, and Camille Henrot have exhibited, has many years of experience in training curators. The first fellowship recipient will be responsible for the gallery’s current exhibitions and educational program. In addition, there will be sessions with members of Frieze’s management, and the costs for fees, travel, and research will also be covered. The application deadline is January 2021.

To support the fellowship financially, prominent British artists have agreed to create limited editions, the proceeds of which will go to the initiative. The first one will be made by an artist who is represented in the current exhibition Time Present with works from the Deutsche Bank Collection at Berlin’s PalaisPopulaire, which is devoted to international photography from the 1970s to the present. Idris Khan, born in London in 1978, is a master of conceptually oriented, poetic-philosophical photography. In his work in the Berlin exhibition, he digitally superimposes gasholders shot by the photographer couple Bernd and Hilla Becher, creating ghostly images in which architectural structures from different times seem to vibrate and reverberate.

Khan’s contribution to the Fellowship—a protective facemask made of sustainable cotton which he designed during the Covid-19 lockdown—is similarly complex. During this time, he watched “the vivid colors of nature changing intensely.” The work is titled Time Past, Time Present. For the blue-colored print on the mask, Khan photographed pages with musical notation from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and superimposed them until a fine, shimmering line structure with countless markings emerged. His contribution marks the start of an ongoing series of editions with which the Frieze x Deutsche Bank Emerging Curators Fellowship will be continuously supported. The next edition will be designed by the artist and director John Akomfrah. The mask can be purchased for £ 40 at frieze.com.