'for a real collector, a collector as he ought to be - ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them.'
Walter Benjamin

'objet' anything which is the cause or subject of a passion. Figuratively and most typically: the loved object'.
Jean Baudrillard

Perhaps the most ardently discussed, most visited, and photographed stand of London's Frieze Masters 2014. An immersive installation and an artwork in its own right, celebrating the passion for collecting.

'The installation resonates with how art ought to be lived with: fully, within reach, and very personally'. 'It shows the intimate relationship we have with everything that we collect and surround ourselves with.'

The installation is designed and created by Robin Brown, and produced by Anna Pank. Commissioned by the Helly Nahmad Gallery and based on Helly Nahmad's concept.

'so intoxicating is Nahmad's stand.. that with one nostalgic, bohemian gust it blows away the precious, pristine, smartly labelled art fair piety of everything else at Regent's Park. The gallery-booth itself as a piece of performance art' Jackie Wullschlager FT

To some extent we all collect and curate; objects, music, books, magazines and popular culture, photographs and memorabilia, all make up the landscape of passions we surround ourselves with. At any point in time that landscape describes and defines us more clearly than a portrait or photograph could do.

Here that point in time is Montparnasse, Paris 1968 and the apartment of art collector Corrado N exactly as it was, filled to the brim with the found collected objects and artworks of one mans lifetime, the collection being the mirror of the man. Miles Davis is heard on an evocative soundtrack as curated film plays on two B+W televisions, with Brigitte Bardot in Godard's 'Masculin Feminin', and news clips featuring the Paris '68 student riots.

'In amongst the piles of books, stacks of Paris Match magazines and pinned up revolutionary posters are mouthwatering art works including Lucio Fontana's slashed canvas, a Picasso self-portrait, and Giacometti's 'Trois hommes qui marchent' casually placed by the bed'.

As in Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' the viewer is looking into and observing someone's most personal and private space, except here that it is not through a zoom lens but up close and on show in one of the most public environments in the art world.

That space is a small modernist top floor apartment of a modest functional style with a compact assembly of spaces divided by a Corbusier like curving central wall, modernist style corner bookcase, plywood kitchen, split level parquet floors and cut away stepped ceilings. It references the architecture of Lubetkin, Perriand, Prouve, and Erno Goldfinger.

His furniture follows this aesthetic and has the distinctive handwriting of Modernism; a Giovanni Garibaldi 30's credenza and 50's armchairs from Milan, a small desk by Dutch designer Willy Van der Meeren, a George Nelson desk with an original Marcel Breuer canvas sling chair, Hans Wegner console, Walter Gropius plywood stool tables, Group& plywood chairs, Peter Nelson FA2 lamp, Jacobsen AJ Royal and Floris Fiedeldij floor lamps, and Louis Kalfe desk lights.

The idea of the collector, this older man, having a lifelong passion for the modern in every sense seemed very appropriate.

The atmosphere is heightened with an audio soundtrack that moves location from room to room, intercut with radio interference and spoken word, with Miles Davies 'L'ascenseur du Scaffold', Nino Rota's theme for Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita', Giovanni Fusco's music for Antonioni's 'L'avventura', George Delarue's haunting theme for Truffaut's 'Jules et Jim', Jeanne Moreau singing 'Le Tourbillon' and Charles Trenet singing Godard's 'A Bout de Souffle', as well as Francoise Hardy and Charles Aznavour. Follow the Spotify link to this soundtrack collector

Two televisions play curated films made from1968 broadcast of the Paris May '68 Student riots, the French winter Olympics, the Tour de France, Avignon festival, the first French Nuclear test, and Godard's 1966 film 'Masculin et Feminin', placing the observer firmly in Paris at this moment in time.

'The installation reflects a tempestuous period in Europe and it can be felt in the collector's works found in the 1950's and 1960's. 'What brings this feeling to life are the revolutionary socialist posters calling for "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" torn from the streets of Paris during the riots of '68' and pinned up alongside exhibition posters and framed paintings reminding us that art used to be at the centre of the political and intellectual life of its times.

'A cheap newspaper on a chair tells us that there is a “scandale enorme au coeur de l'Angleterre”, and every surface is stacked high with magazines including the famous art magazines L'Oiel', Cimaise, and Paris Match celebrating the arrival of a man in space and the beauty of Bardot. Artists monographs and catalogue raisonné are lined up on the shelves. Packets of Gauloises are waiting to be lit and smoked, dirty dishes in the kitchen sink to be rinsed.' The familiarity of it all recalls memories and give the viewer a sense of belonging, 'a brief encounter with themselves both past and possible.' and an uncanny sense of longing.

'With every wall covered with postcards, invoices of art purchases, notes, photographs and political posters you almost struggle to focus on the works of art hanging on the wall,' and yet each object is celebrated for its singularity. The installation turns on it's head 'the usual objective and clinical method of art display that can transform familiar objects into artefacts removed from any real, lived experience'.' It reminds us how people would live with art at a time when such works were not trophies, and when their monetary value was not the first thing a visitor thought of.'

In this context the passionate collection of objects and artworks develop a new set of meanings and come together to create 'an everyday yet extraordinary record', a three dimensional portrait of a real life lived. As one commentator said 'we all rather fell in love with him.'

'When every other gallery was doing the same old same old, they created a buzz and and got people talking and more importantly, Instagramming.'

The installation is the result of 3 months work sourcing, collecting, curating everything from the furniture to authentic art magazines and books, down to 1968 Paris cinema tickets, authentic art gallery letterheads and business cards, and curating and editing the television and audio soundtrack. It was assembled from kit form and installed and dressed at Frieze Masters.

The Joy of this Installation was creating the audio and visual landscape of this three dimensional portrait and witnessing the emotional response that triggered in the audience.

THE SOUNDTRACK

  1. 'Amacord' - Nino Rota 'Amacord' - Fellini
  2. 'Catherine et Jim' - George Delarue 'Jules et Jim' - Truffaut
  3. Cinema Paradiso - Ennio Morricone 'Cinema Paradiso' - Tornatore
  4. 'On s'aimera' - Catherine Sauvage
  5. 'Le Tourbillon' - George Delarue 'Jules et Jim' - Truffaut
  6. 'Que Reste-t-il' Charles Trenet 'A bout de souffle' - Godard.
  7. 'Valzar'– Giovanni Fusca 'L'Avventura' - Antonioni
  8. 'Bistro Fada' - Stephane Wrembel 'Midnight in Paris' - Woody Allen
  9. Cinema Paradiso - Ennio Morricone
  10. 'The Woman Next Door' George Delarue 'Jules et Jim' - Truffaut
  11. La Dolce Vita - Nino Rota 'La Dolce Vita' - Fellini
  12. 'Le Premiere Bonheur Du Jour' - Francoise Hardy
  13. 'Tu T'Laisses aller'- Charles Aznavour.
  14. Final Take 3 '- Miles Davies 'L'ascenseur du scaffold' - Louis Malle
  15. 'Mouvements Perpetuels, Alerte', Hallandsensemblen - Poulanc

link to this playlist on spotify collector

Featured in :
Aesthetica, AnOther Magazine, Aperture, Art Forum, Artishock, ArtNet, Artnet News, ArtObserved, Art Das Kunstmagazin, The Art Market Monitor, Art News, The Art Newspaper, Art Review News Letter, Artyist, BBC News and World Service, Candid Magazine, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Telegraph, Dazed Magazine, Der Tagesspiegel, Die Welt, The Economist, El Mundo, El Pais, Elle Decoration, Evening Standard Magazine, The Financial Times, FT Weekend Life and Arts, Collecting Supplement, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Feuilleton, Glass, GQ, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Habitually Chic, Handelsblatt, Hunger TV, Il Sole 24 Ore, International New York Times, The Independent, Instagram, The International New York Times, Kommersant, Kunstbeeld, Le Figaro, Le Monde New York, Le Quotidien de L'Art, Leading Culture Destinations, Litro, Ocula, Observer, Telegraph Luxury, Ultra Vie, Vanity Fair, Vogue Italia, Welkunst, Whitewall

 

'The Collector' Edited Press

'Visitors were entranced ..crammed with pitch-perfect period details.' New York Times

'so intoxicating is Nahmad's stand.. that with one nostalgic, bohemian gust it blows away the precious, pristine, smartly labelled art fair piety of everything else at Regent's Park. The gallery-booth itself as a piece of performance art,' FT

'The most atmospheric, instructive and exciting stand at Frieze Masters 2014 like the best fiction, heightened a perception of reality.' Economist

'the buzz at this year's show is around the Helly Nahmad stand. an immersive, narrative installation created by production designer Robin Brown . 'It's the dream collection.., the buzz at this year's show is well-deserved.' Vanity Fair

'impressively detailed and absorbing.' Creative Review

'the most elaborate booth that I have ever seen at an art fair stand.'Vogue.com

'The star of the show. The detail was astonishing.' Elle Decoration

'One visiting dealer called 'The Collector' 'a poem in three dimensions.' Economist

'astonishing attention to detail.' BBC NEWS

'Crowd favorite .. surprisingly insightful.' Die Welt

'My favourite booth , turned on it's head the intangible, unreachable ideal.' Huffington Post

'That installation touched so many nerves in people,' 'You were looking at art in a living environment.' New York Times

'worth visiting just for this booth..This is probably the best booth you will ever see at an art fair in your life.' DAZED

'The real must of the show . this humble exciting, and intelligent idea.' Le Quotidien de L'Art

'Cultural references everywhere that reconstruct the environment and breath in every single detail .. A Hosanna to the Preachers of death of the White Cube.' Vogue Italia

'by far the busiest stand at the fair.' GQ

'one of the two most ardently discussed booths, can't you imagine just slipping out of your raincoat, throwing yourself into an armchair and lighting a Gauloise as you contemplate your Miros? this .. is a piece of high flattery to the idea of the collector.' The Guardian

'the hotspot and must-see …hits the nerve of this year's Frieze: the gallerybooth itself as a piece of performance art.' Artusiast

'It created an installation, an event, and it was the best element of Masters.' Hunger TV

'Showpiece of the season.' 160gramms

'There is not a single adjective to describe how breathtaking this work is….. the crown jewel of Frieze '14.' Kulturspace

'These guys get the award for the best presentation.' Art Net News

'the real star turn.. Everything had been cleverly thought through' 'the whole spectacle worked so well and drew all the crowds around it.' Artlyst

'The most talked about and photographed art at the Frieze Art Fair.' Habitually Chic

'A statement against art as a soulless asset at Frieze Masters.' Art Market Monitor

'Helly Nahmad charms us ..recreating the apartment of an Italian collector.. with his magazines of the era, his black and white TV 's, and hidden between his books a Dubuffet, a Fontana, and Giacometti bronze. Wonderful.' Le Figaro Culture

'utterly convincing re-creation . forensically accurate. ' The Art Newspaper 'The standout is Helly Nahmad gallery's stand.' FT Weekend

'One of the most talked about stands at Frieze Masters this year.' Daily Telegraph'a beautiful example of the latest trend in the world of art.' Le Figaro.fr madame

'a labor of love.' Art News

'radically challenges this uniform greyness.' Litro.co.uk

'the most poignant piece, the true belle of the ball . as an audience, we all rather fell in love with him.' Velvet whisper.com

'The finest offering at Masters . wonderfully creative and theatrical.' Whitewallmag

'The most atmospheric, instructive and exciting stand at Frieze Masters 2014' massimo-casagrande

'The white box format with which galleries usually display their wares was changed perhaps for ever more by the innovative booth.' Designsourcebook

'A big buzz at yesterday's VIP viewing centred on Helly Nahmad Gallery's precise evocation of a Sixties collector's apartment.' Evening Standard

'the installation almost manages to eclipse the museum quality art on display , So clearly staged and yet so incredibly powerful.' Baroncelli

'The prize for most impressive display. Engaging and surreal, this stand has more detail than most artworks – worth a visit of its own.' Candidonline.com

'it is this blurred line between fiction and reality that makes this installation so brilliant.' Telavivian

'level of details ..was astounding.' Winsor+newton

'This years Frieze Masters highlight , built with perfectionist eyes.' literaturundkundst.net

'one of the most intriguing and effective displays.. designed and produced by Robin Brown and Anna Pank for the Helly Nahmad Gallery.' Art Mastered

'Among stacks of gallery receipts, auction catalogues, ashtrays, and dirty dishes, works by Joan Miró, Jean Dubuffet, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri (I could go on) line the walls,' Time

'The atmosphere is immersive and captivating. Being able to gain a unique perspective into the private sphere of one of the most interesting characters of the art world is a dream that comes true, This is the strength of the project.' Glass online

'The white box format with which galleries usually display their wares was changed perhaps for ever more by the innovative booth.' Designsourcebook

'The most talked about and photographed art at the Frieze Art Fair It's intriguing and interesting and makes you stop to try to see everything inside . created a buzz and and got people talking and more importantly, Instagramming. Habitually Chic

Francesca Gavin, Visual Arts contributor to Dazed Magazine, posted an image to the magazine's 245,459 followers, achieving 2763 likes in 24 hours. Dazed

'The Helly Nahmad booth , in which he created a collector's imaginary Paris apartment circa 1968 was a big hit on Instagram.' Blouin Art Info

'Mummy, didn't he have time to clean his room? No dear, it's art.' littlelizu

The Collector at Helly Nahmad Gallery won our hearts and minds @FriezeMasters the detail moved me to tears. For real. Mil Vukovic

'Dreaming of being in this art collectors apartment tonight' 'jack_elliot_tobin best booth at both fairs by a mile, and possibly the #bestartfairboothever - Iveseenthat – tumblr

Slideshow :
Rachel Barber

Slideshow photographs :
Chris Tubbs
Robin Brown
Anna Pank
P3dro

Slideshow music :
Simon Biddulph
System Sound

Set decorators :
Susanne Beirne
Tim Belcher
Jessica Burn
Nathalie Croquet
Milly Carter
Rebecca Gillies
Jemima Hawkins
Olivia McEwan
Tim Sykes
Chris Ulusele

Set build :
O & A Construction

Sound :
Simon Biddulph
System Sound

Av :
Martin Jangaard
Jonathon Bohane
Hubub Media
Blue – i – technology
Steve Warne
Mike Warne
Henri Latham Koenig

Lighting :
Bruno Hunt
Spirit Design
Owen Pritchard-Smith

Graphics :
Fox Collective
Georgina Millet
Printed Word

Drawings :
Grant Bailey
Claire Fleming
Sandra Phillips
Choi Ho Man
Joanna Pratt

Transport :
Anystate
Martin Speed
Jonathan Kennedy

Thanks :
Ben Bisek
Marcus Campbell
The Clearing House
Sean Daley
Arnaud Desjardins
Michael Deakin
Ruth Halliday
Matthew Hall
Paul Marshall
David Steele

Robin Brown
robin@robinbrown.studio
+44 (0)7973 174 512
instagram.com/robinbrowndesign
www.robinbrown.studio
Anna Pank
anna@annapankassociates.com
+44(0)7747 805 945
instagram.com/anna.pank
www.annapankassociates.com

Brown and Pank is a collaboration between designer and visual artist Robin Brown and producer Anna Pank. We are passionate about creating poignant, emotive and eloquent installations, objects, and events that seek to inspire and instill curiosity, wonder, and initiate conversation.

Robin Brown trained at Hornsey College of Art, majored in furniture design, and has gone on to become an award winning Production Designer working in the British Film Industry for 25 years. He has produced memorable visual art, conceptual furniture and designs for iconic music videos for Paolo Nutini, George Michael, Robbie Williams, and Madonna, working with film directors such as Michel Gondry, Rupert Sanders, Shekar Kapur, Vaughan Arnell, and Daniel Wolfe.

He has an extensive background in creating immersive settings and historical recreations such as Elaine Constantine's Universal Pictures Feature 'NORTHERN SOUL' set in Lancashire in the early 1970's, and Ivan Zacharius' 1923 period recreation of the Targa Floria Motor race ; 'Coppa di Sicilia'.

He has won multiple awards from; Cannes Lions, The Creative Circle, New York Festival, Deutsche Werber Filmpreis, Epica, The British Television Advertising Awards, and D&AD.

'The Collector' was his first installation project, followed by The Asylum for Frieze Masters 2015 again for the Helly Nahmad Gallery, the second Brown and Pank collaboration.

Robin also works as Artistic Director and Designer for Erdem’s 15/16 Shows.

Anna Pank graduated in art history from the Courtauld Instiute of Art to gain an MA in curation at City University and now specialises in the production of bespoke installations in the art and fashion worlds. Working with Art Directors Robin Brown and Simon Costin to create catwalk shows, exhibitions, parties, launches and audio-visual projects in original and often unusual venues, from private homes and disused car parks to art galleries. For over a decade she has collaborated with visual artists, photographers and art organisations as well as with some of fashion's biggest luxury brand names and design houses, bringing together teams of talented set builders, designers, lighting and sound specialists, film makers and prop buyers to help bring to life a series of exquisite and memorable events.