INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Independent OCTOBER 10, 2008 - by Alice-Azania Jarvis
HOW TO BEHAVE AT A PRIVATE VIEW...
The thing to remember when attending an arty party - the single most important piece of protocol - is that one never talks about the art. At least, not if you're there for the free champagne. The only people who should are those who a) know about it, or b) are thinking of buying it.
Over Frieze week, there are hundreds of art parties. They fall into two types: the Serious, where the big fish of the art and media ponds gather; and the Glam, where musicians, models and miscellaneous celebrities get to mix with the artocracy.
The former are easier to get into, but harder to navigate. This year's highlights include Tate Modern's unveiling of its Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster installation, the Lisson Gallery's private view for Julian Opie, and Thomas Dane Gallery's showcase of Michael Landy portraits. Novices beware: this is where the aficionados dwell. But, with mouth firmly zipped, anyone should be able to get by, moving slowly from piece to piece, champagne flute in hand. And you can always approach a gallery staff member and ask for a walk-through. Just make sure it's not a security guard. I've done that.
Glam parties are easier to wing, but very hard to infiltrate. Which is not to say one shouldn't try. The Serpentine's opening weekend is a good place to start, with its series of ticketed presentations. Vivienne Westwood is set to appear, as are Brian Eno and Yoko Ono. Just as A-list is the Vanity Fair Frieze Party on Wednesday at Christie's auction house. With its top-secret guest list, it promises to be the event of the week - until the next night, when the ICA hosts its party at Sotheby's. Peter Blake, Mark Wallinger and Grayson Perry are expected, but the event vies with the Fitzrovia Party, where Mario Testino and Claudia Schiffer promise glamour. The final do is on Saturday, with Elton John's Aids Foundation Gala Night.
If you do get into a party, remember: don't get drunk. It is Frieze week, after all - not freshers' week.