in Frieze London | 23 SEP 20

LIVE: A Programme of Sound & Performance for Frieze Week 2020

Curated by Victor Wang, The Institute of Melodic Healing features Alvaro Barrington, Mandy El-Sayegh, Cécile B. Evans, Denzil Forrester, Anthea Hamilton, Haroon Mirza and Zadie Xa & Benito Mayor Vallejo

in Frieze London | 23 SEP 20


For the 2020 LIVE Programme, Frieze presented The Institute of Melodic Healing (IMH), an “institute of sound and performance” located at 9 Cork St, London, from 8–11 October, and broadcast online from 6–11 October.

Curated by Victor Wang (王宗孚), the programme lasted for 111 hours, rethinking the parameters of live art during a time when distance, the body, and movement are regulated in post-Covid Britain. The IMH aimed to promote community and healing by thinking through sound and body, to emphasize that listening and feeling is as important as seeing, and to support artistic experimental development.

Watch LIVE Talks & Performances



About the Programme

This temporary institute at 9 Cork St, London, brings together eight UK-based artists to experiment and work together, through a series of installations and events over six days. All performances were distributed across three floors – occurring at separate times, and online –to keep within current health and safety measures.

  • Haroon Mirza (presented by Lisson Gallery): The programme's 111 hours of duration stems from artist Mirza’s research into the physiological properties of the frequency of 111 Hz, one that has been demonstrated by scientists to resonate from certain prehistoric megalithic structures that served as centres for social or spiritual events. For Frieze LIVE, Mirza will present a new participatory light and sound installation ‘MindFlip’, in collaboration with soprano opera singer Sarah-Jane Lewis. Audiences will be able to use a QR code to activate the work and the 111 Hz frequency, at 9 Cork Street from 8–11 October.  
  • Denzil Forrester (presented by Stephen Friedman Gallery): Drawing on the important role that both dance and music have played in the transformation of the visual arts, the IMH will present key works by artist Forrester including Youth of the Day (1989), that vibrantly depicts the dancing bodies that populated London’s reggae and dub nightclubs in East London during the 1980s. Forrester will also be in conversation with Victor Wang, at 9 Cork Street on 8 October and broadcast online on 9 October (watch video above). 
  • Mandy El-Sayegh (presented by Lehmann Maupin) introduces a new site-specific floor installation that acts like a second skin of language and light, and offers a contact space for performances to occupy: it also blurs the lines between other live performances, as well as her new live work with guest collaborator Sanaa Abstrakt and a soundtrack composed by Lily Oakes, taking place on 9 October and broadcast online on 10 October. Performers: Aretha Ameen, Alethia Antonia, Letizia Mateo, Melissa Stewart and Uma Vanderpuye.
  • Alvaro Barrington (presented by Emalin) partners with musicians, comedians and performance artists to produce a series of live acts that will be broadcasted from the IMH via @friezeartfair on 10 and 11 October. The performances establish a conversation between London, where Barrington is based, and his hometown New York, and continue the artist’s ongoing commitment to interconnectedness, collaboration and unity. 
  • Anthea Hamilton (presented by Thomas Dane Gallery) creates an immersive installation at 9 Cork Street consisting of a digitally printed wallpaper and commercially made black mannequins, which act as placeholders. They physically engage with the other live works through figurative language. In addition, a fragrance floats, albeit briefly, in the space. These were formulated with two performers the artist has worked with in the past. 
  • Zadie Xa and Benito Mayor Vallejo (presented by Agustina Ferreyra): Working collaboratively with dancer and performer Jia-Yu Corti and make up artist Ophelia Liu, Xa and Mayor Vallejo rehearse a new experimental performance – taking place at 9 Cork Street on 9 October and broadcast online on 11 October – that directly responds to work by Anthea Hamilton, Mandy El-Sayegh, and Haroon Mirza.  
  • Cécile B. Evans (presented by Chateau Shatto and Emanuel Layr): The format of rehearsals also plays an important role at the IMH, as a way to reverse the processes of making and presenting in live art. On 6 October, Evans will present two live-streamed "dress rehearsals" for their new performance Notations for an Adaptation of Giselle (welcome to whatever forever).

Anthea Hamilton, The New Life, exhibition view Secession 2018, photo: Sophie Thun   © Anthea Hamilton. Courtesy the artist, Secession, and Thomas Dane Gallery
Anthea Hamilton, The New Life, exhibition view 'Secession' 2018. Photo: Sophie Thun © Anthea Hamilton. Courtesy the artist, Secession, and Thomas Dane Gallery


The IMH was open to visitors from the 8 - 11 October, from 12-6pm at 9 Cork Street, W1S, London. All artists’ interventions will also be broadcast online.

Thursday - Sunday 8-11 October: Haroon Mirza, MindFlip, a participatory installation 

IMH 9 Cork Street / Basement.

Limited capacity.

Thursday 8 October, 3-4pm: Denzil Forrester in conversation with Victor Wang 

IMH 9 Cork Street / Ground floor & broadcast on on Friday 9 October

Thursday 8 October 2020, 7–7.30pm: Cécile B. Evans, dress rehearsal for Notations for an Adaption of Giselle (welcome to whatever forever), 2020

Online only on Frieze Youtube Channel, no public access

Friday, 9 October 2-3pmMandy El-Sayegh, Performance, 2020 

IMH 9 Cork Street / Ground floor & broadcast on on Saturday 10 October

Friday, 9 October 4-5pmZadie Xa and Benito Mayor Vallejo, Dream Dangerous, 2020

IMH 9 Cork Street / Ground Floor & broadcast on on Sunday 11 October

Saturday, 10 October, 1pm: Alvaro Barrington, CHAPTER 1

IMH 9 Cork Street / Basement and livestream @friezeartfair

Online only

Saturday, 10 October, 4pm: Alvaro Barrington, CHAPTER 2

IMH 9 Cork Street / Basement and livestream @friezeartfair

Online only

Sunday, 11 October, 4pm: Alvaro Barrington, CHAPTER 3

IMH 9 Cork Street / Basement and livestream @friezeartfair

Online only


Main image: Zadie Xa and Benito Mayor Vallejo, Dream Dangerous,  2020. Performance. Performed by Jia-Yu Corti. Courtesy of the artists and Galería Agustina Ferreyra