in Collaborations | 09 AUG 22

Nikita Gale Connects Speed and Sound in 2022 BMW Open Work Commission

63/22 revisits a moment that defined design across automotive and musical technologies

in Collaborations | 09 AUG 22

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 63/22, an immersive installation in the BMW Lounge at Frieze London, taking place October 12 - 16, 2022 in The Regent’s Park. 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’ on view from 9 July to 16 October 2022.

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.


Portrait of Nikita Gale
Nikita Gale

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.

Attilia Fattori Franchini said: ‘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.’

Hedwig Solis-Weinstein, BWM Head of Arts & Thought Leadership Cooperations added: ‘Nikita Gale creates a forward-looking installation connecting music and arts – two fields that are relevant for BMW’s cultural engagement. The sculptures, inspired by sketches of BMW i7 designers, strongly link the evolution of car and guitar design and sees 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.’

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.

Nikita 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. 

About the Partnership

Further information on BMW Open Work here

Main image: Nikita Gale, PRIVATE DANCER, 2020, installation view, California African American Museum, Los Angeles. Courtesy the artist, Commonwealth and Council and the California African American Museum, Los Angeles. Photo: Elon Schoenholz, 2020.