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Interview: Karl England & Ben Street, the duo behind Sluice art fair


Karl England (left) and Ben Street (right) in front of a painting by Chris Baker presented by George + Jorgen at Sluice. Photo: M-KOS

Sluice Art Fair is a new initiative organized jointly by artist Karl England and Ben Street, curator and art historian. Inaugurated this year in London and launched on the same week as Frieze, M-KOS interviewed England and Street about their project, proposed as an alternative to the alternative art fair.

M-KOS [MK]: How did Sluice come about originally?

Ben Street [BS]: Karl and I met through Twitter. Social networking has been very useful for us. We started just having conversations about art and networking people. Then, last year I was curating an exhibition for an old chapel in the cemetery of North West London. I looked at Karl’s recent work online, I liked it so much I went strait to his studio and decided to put his work in my show. We stayed in touch. Then much later Karl contacted me and said there was a space he was able to use where he had already shown before, and asked me if I was interested in collaborating on something with him during Frieze. The space is only 15 minutes away from the art fair, where so many people come to see art.

Karl England [KE]: Also, we had this space in Mayfair for only three days, that was perfect timing for an art fair but it’s too short for organizing an exhibition.

MK: How did you decide to name it Sluice?

BS: Sluice is a reference to an underground river, called the Tyburn, that runs beneath both Sluice and – coincidentally – Frieze.
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