We started planning this issue deep in lockdown, without being sure what the COVID-19 pandemic augured for the rest of the year. As the autumn has crept around, for the first time, Frieze London and Frieze Masters have moved online, onto the Frieze Viewing Room: go tofrieze.com/viewingroom to register. Meanwhile, the city will still come alive with exhibitions and events, as it always does in this week in October: see our listings in the supplement at the back of the issue as a guide. Nevertheless, to reflect these unique circumstances, for this issue we decided to focus on stories that emerged from this year’s epically strange summer—from recipes perfected over the hours spent in the kitchen (p.2), to excerpts from the blog artist Issy Wood kept as a daily regimen of mental exercise (p.14). The pandemic’s interruption of our normal lives coincided with the beginning of a long overdue, international conversation about racism, the operation of violence and the embeddedness of structural inequality. On p.20, Zoé Whitley explains the new joint effort between Frieze, Deustche Bank and the Chisenhale Gallery to support emerging curators of colour. You can help support this with the purchase of a sustainable face mask, designed by the artist Idris Khan, whose work is featured on our front cover. For this issue, FriezeWeek has a back cover too—these are ‘unprecedented times’, after all—by the photographer Jamie Hawkesworth, whose visual essay in this issue is a tribute to the ordinary people of the city. This sublime image of a lone, resting figure against a metal barrier captures the mood of many in the capital this year, but also reminds us we may never know what’s coming: at top right, the balloon, unseen, sails calmly on.
—Matthew McLeanSenior Editor, Frieze Studios