Arts Diary: The enigma of variation No 1020

THE BIG issue at the Frieze Art Fair, the UK's annual fiesta for contemporary art in Regent's Park, London, may be whether the art market can bounce back, but the curious are also wondering what Martin Creed, pictured below, is up to now. The fair opens today, with 165 galleries touting their wares, and has commissioned new work from the Scottish artist.

Creed won the Turner Prize in 2001 for The Lights Going On and Off (Work No 227) and last year his Work No 850 at Tate Britain featured athletes sprinting through the gallery every 30 seconds.

Creed recently branched out into music with his composition for an 18-piece orchestra, where players played simple chords, seated in a single line according to their instrument's pitch.

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This time, it's dance. His Work No 1020, part of the Frieze Music line-up this year, opens on Friday, performed by five classical dancers at Sadler's Wells in London. It uses video and music played by Creed and his band. There were few further clues at press time.

In other projects commissioned by the fair, Scottish artists Ruth Ewan will broadcast her entire collection of 1,500 "politically motivated or idealistic" songs from the scene, on the art radio station, Resonance104.4fm, and Kim Hogarth will turn impromptu footage of unwitting visitors into an evolving video artwork, Players.

Cataloguing its artists, the fair is straining to be geographically correct. So Ewan is listed as "a Scottish artist based in London", while Hogarth is a "Scottish artist based in Edinburgh". Other listed artists include: Mike Bouchet, an American artist based in Frankfurt; Ryan Gander, an English artist based in London; and Per-Oskar Leu, a Norwegian artist also based in Frankfurt am Main.

Monika Sosnowska, a Polish artist based in Berlin and Warsaw (big-name artists are often based in two places) was creating a "major structural intervention" for the fair, designed to look like a huge concrete meteorite crashing into the tented roofs. But she dismantled it on the night before – saying the plywood and jesmonite structure looked "fake".

Aliens of Ukraine

Closer to home, but keeping that international outlook: calling all Scottish Ukrainians out there! On Tuesday the Henderson Gallery in Edinburgh will host an event to mark the publication of the Scottish playwright and poet Janet Paisley's poetry collection Alien Crop, in Ukrainian.

Paisley will read from the volume, nominated for Scottish Book of the Year in 1996, in English.

An extract, on her website, begins: "So the boats come in, charcoal shadows etched on liquid gold – she is not always so fine a mistress, her depths combed smooth with light."

Paisley has been described as "more honest and passionate" than Sylvia Plath. Some of her poems have already appeared in Ukraine's literary journal, Vsevit. Dmytro Drozdovskyi, editor and critic, will read from the translations, and Oksana Prykhodko, vice-head of publishing house,, will also speak.

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"There's certainly an expat community who will be interested, or I hope will be interested. It's not huge, that they have a presence," she said. "Plus there's a Russian community in Scotland too. I hope it will also appeal to anyone interested in the whole business of translation."

Beer blue ribbons

Italian design and style go on show at the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh next week courtesy of those two iconic design brands, Alessi and, er, Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

The Peroni Blue Ribbon Design Awards, previously at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, will show an array of Italian-inspired designs ranging from tableware, small furniture and kitchenware to glassware and gadgets.

On show 20-24 October, it includes daily "aperitivo evenings", with a menu designed by the Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli.

The awards say they celebrate Azzurro's values of "passion, craftsmanship, and a meticulous attention to detail" – probably best served cold.

Normally the diary would dismiss this is a flagrant piece of corporate PR dressed as art, but we're willing to give the Italians the benefit of the doubt.

The award winners were Olive Tree with Tapered Steel Toothpicks by Caroline Sipos and Jonathan Krawczuk, which looked like a kind of Alessi Christmas tree, and Aperitivo on the Go, a beer cooler with a tray for nibbles.