Saturday May 9th 2015 in Milan, at Largo Isarco 2, the halls of the second seat of Fondazione Prada, which began in 1993 as a place for analysis and interpretation of the Contemporary and situated in the prestigious Ca’ Corner della Regina a Venezia, opened to the public. The idea for the architectonic complex by studio OMA, guided by Rem Koolhaas, acclaimed architect and curator of the last Biennale d’Architettura di Venezia (Architectural Biennial Of Venice), is fruit of the interaction between past and present. The project required the reconstruction of an early 20th century distillery and the construction of three new buildings (Podium, Cinema, and Torre), ready to host the various contemporary cultural and philosophical manifestations.
The Contemporary Art exhibitions, the cinema and architecture are only a few of the channels that the Fondazione Prada plans on using to stimulate the intellectual processes of the public. Thanks to the vast collection of Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, to the coordinated efforts of an international team of curators, and to the artistic and scientific superintendent Germano Celant, the exhibitions that opened on May 9th include, besides over hundreds of years of art history, a strong intellectual component.
The Milanese exhibition “Serial Classic” (May 9th – August 24th 2015), parallel to “Portable Classic” (May 9th – September 13th 2015) in the Venetian seat, co-curated by Salvatore Settis and Anna Anguissola, is dedicated to the dichotomy between originality and imitation, and highlights how classic sculpture, often admired as a unique and rare product of Roman civilization, was intensely “copied” with the intention of rendering homage to Greek art. Over sixty sculptures on display, from marbles to bronzes, testify the relationship between the lost original and the copy, raising questions about the concept of serials – whether the former was even intended as an intrinsic characteristic to the technique in rendering these very works.
The versatility of the Prada Collection is used for three exhibition projects.
“An Introduction” (May 9th – January 10th 2016) tells the story of love and research between the founders and art, through over seventy works placed on an ideal temporal axis which begins in the Sixties, with the New Dada and Minimalism (with works by Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Donald Judd and Walter de Maria) and continues on to reach the great contemporary artists such as Gerard Richter and Jeff Koons.
“In Part” (May 9th – October 31st 2015), curated by Nicholas Cullinan, investigates the fragment theme: from that of the body in the sculptures of Lucio Fontana and Pino Pascali, and the representation of the “ruins” of Francesco Vezzoli and John Baldessari, to the decomposed image in deformed portraits of Llyn Foulkes, passing through the experiments of other big artists.
“Trittico” (May 9th 2015 – January 10th 2016) a rotating project curated by the Tought Council, a flexible team of curators, puts the three works of the Prada Collection into comparison and dialogue. The first trittico exhibited in the spaces of the Cisterna, unites Case II (1968) with Eva Hesse, Lost Love (2000) by Damien Hirst and 1 metro cubo di terra (1967) by Pino Pascali.
For the multifunctional and ambitiously innovative spaces of the Fondazione Prada, Roman Polanski, along with Laurent Bouzereau, made a documentary called “Roman Polanski: My Inspiration”, in which he goes over the cinematographic works which most influenced him. Six movies and a selection of films by Polanski, make up the cinematographic review which will be viewed every Friday and Saturday (from May 22nd to July25th). In the underground spaces of the Cinema, the Processo Grottesco (2006 – 2007) by the contemporary artist Thomas Demand is permanently installed.
Thanks to the vast proposal of the exhibition, given by the combination of temporary exhibitions on themes that span a deep level of transverse subjects, and the permanent installations (those of Robert Gober and Louise Bourgeois in the Haunted House), and the vast section dedicated to cinema, and obviously thanks to the spectacular architecture of the space, Fondazione Prada reconfirms its role as a vector of art, culture and thought.