Frieze is perhaps one of the most divisive events in the art calendar. It splits all art professionals, students and general enthusiasts because this art fair – in fact, the entire week of events that revolve around it – are an undeniably shameless paean to the depressing commercialism of the art world. Artworks compete ferociously with each other by being ever bigger, brighter, and shinier than their neighbours.

Upon entering, the first stand you will see is Gavin Brown Enterprises, New York (C6). If you're at all familiar with Gavin Brown Ent., it shouldn't surprise you to know that they've employed as much neon colouring as they could possibly muster in order to draw you in – towards the left, yes, come here, it calls... If you consider this an affront to your intellect, then I suggest you leave the fair right away.

Most of the stands increase viewer interaction by either showing art big enough to climb into, or shiny enough to drown Narcissus a thousand times over. These are what I call "photo-opportunity artworks" – maybe outside of this context they are more interesting, and demand more thought than when they are cast as backdrops for Facebook profile pictures. But if your goal is to take a lot of cultural "selfies", then please direct yourself to Lisson Gallery's stand at B10, where you will be able to walk through Dan Graham's Groovy Spiral (2013), a large spiral corridor constructed out of steel and glass. Outside of Frieze, I may have considered how this physical embodiment of Euler's "golden spiral", the epitome of perfection in nature, encompasses the participant and forces you to simultaneously reflect upon the world around you and your internal self. However, I did not reach this stage, as inside and outside of the structure I was confronted by people posing for endless photos, and exhibitionists making out with their eyes open in front of what they probably hoped was the entire world. You might also wish to visit Stephen Friedman (D3), where Jennifer Rubell's Portrait of the Artist (2013), invites you to crawl into the open belly of a huge pregnant nude. Again, the work itself has some potential. It's a little edgy, but not too much – just the right amount for Frieze.

Which brings me to my next point: everything here is depressingly sellable. This is to be expected, as Frieze is essentially a glorified supermarket. However, as a visitor who is presumably not there to find an Emin that will match the sofa, this translates into a homogenous mass of artworks that are unbearably apolitical. Melanie Gerlis wrote in yesterday's The Art Newspaper that it was "politic" to leave politics at the fair's door, and that the inclusion of any overt activism in art would not sit well with many fair-goers, who are undeniably of the conservative one percent. She writes that "Tastes in the Middle East, China and Russia are notoriously conservative and prohibitive – why bite the hand that feeds you?" Thanks to this attitude, everything here is incredibly safe and, consequently, dull. Edmund Clark's photographs from inside Guantanamo Bay prison wouldn't sell to the conservative American crowd, regardless of how astute and horribly relevant they continue to be, so you won't find them here. Similarly, there's absolutely no trace of any work relating to the Arab Spring conflicts of the past two years, as images of revolution won't sit well with wealthy regime supporters. 

Even with Frieze's attempts to intellectualise its content with "Frieze Talks", a series of discussions on fairly tame academic issues (Gerlis even criticised these for being out of place), the fair retains much its old-world elitism, sycophancy and blandness. Artists are creatively starved in this atmosphere – if even John Baldessari admits to lying awake at 3am, "worrying if I'm just making trinkets for rich people" (as he confessed in conversation with Ilya Kabakov and Hans-Ulrich Obrist at this year's Moscow Biennale) then inertia is certain to stunt the growth of less-established artists. 

Yet although there are few exceptions, there are exceptions. So if you must visit Frieze, I recommend seeing these pieces before the inevitable inertia sets in: The Otolith Group's People to be Resembling (2012), a 22-minute video essay in Project 88's stand (G11). The work explores repetition of the body through dance and music, and how this is a reflection of everyday existence; a quote from the video itself, "a full sound telling all the being in each one", references the all-encompassing nature of the sound 'Aum', which signaled the creation of the universe in Hindu philosophy. Sfeir-Semler at F2 has a beautiful series of Akram Zaatari photographs, 60 men crossing Ain El Helweh Bridge (2007). Rampa (B1) has CANAN's Turkish Delight series 1 (2011) – a portrait of a reclining nude in an Orientalist setting, reading a work by the well-known feminist thinker Judith Butler. Finally, Kate MacGary (H1) is screening Marcus Coates' The Trip (2007), another video work that records the artist in conversation with an elderly man regarding his life, ill-health, and regrets. 

But as good as these four pieces are, bear in mind that you will spend £50 in order to live out the art equivalent of Dickens's Pip in Old Billingsgate Market, thrusting yourself continually forward whilst suppressing the stench of rotting flesh (or rotten art). My utmost recommendation would be to instead put the entrance fee towards five special exhibitions this year, and whilst there, enjoy the many free shows across the city – these are likely to be academically curated and interesting, allowing both artworks and visitors to breathe. On the other hand, go to Frieze if you're looking for something inoffensive to hang above your fireplace.

Frieze Art Fair 2013, at Frieze, Regent's ParkAshitha Nagesh reports on Frieze Art Fair 2013.