Fondazione Prada /Milano #2
The Fondazione is not exactly where you would imagine to find it, between Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. The original place of the Fondazione in Via Fogazzaro 36 hosted a row of outstanding exhibitions between 1993 and 2015, including artists such as Steve McQueen, Anish Kapoor, Marc Quinn and Carsten Höller. An unavoidable point of reference for the Milan’s cultural life.
Viale Isarco finds itself in a rather deserted and disconnected area, with the only advantage that you can easily park around. That is probably why the opening of the new Fondazione Prada was accompanied by a widespread and long-lasting media campaigne, supporting the striking calendar of exhibitions and events. I would be interested to know if that managed to balance the location’s gap. Straight from the wardrobe and toilets you see this no place of architectural compromise. Waiting for the guide to take us inside the complex I took a couple of pictures in a kind of Jeff Wall atmosphere.
My visit dates back to July 2015. At that time the main exhibition hosted in the Podium building was dedicated to Serial Classic .
Co-curated by Salvatore Settis and Anna Anguissola exhibition ‘Serial Classic’ focuses on classical sculpture and explores the ambivalent relationship between originality and imitation in Roman culture and its insistence on the circulation of multiples as an homage to Greek art.
The exhibition was very specific, but also enjoyable for those who are less familiar with classic art. Exhibition design was also very remarkable, original and precious, but not at all disturbing or too prominent.
A group of visitors entering the 24-carats gold plated Haunted house, hosting works by Robert Gober, Louise Bourgeois and others on its four levels plus roof terrace.
The apparently flat and factory like fassade above is cladded with spectacular aluminium foam panels, another great surprise.
The building called Cisterna hosted a cryptic triptyc of cubic artworks. Here above Eva Hesse’s Case II, 1968; below Pino Pascali’s 1 metro cubo di terra, 1967.
But the most unaccessible artwork, and therefore probably the main attraction, was Damien Hirst Lost Love, 2000, a cubic acqurium with tropical fishes swimming around a gynecological bed and a woman’s clothes and personal belongings.
I liked very much this one from Thomas Demand, building a perfectly fake karst cave and taking perfect pictures of it, doing with nature what Jeff Wall does with humans.
Prada is very attentive to Cinema as a work of art and during the vist of the exhibitions you can schedule the view of one of the movies of the day. This beautiful theather was opened by a retrospective on Roman Polansky.
A bar could not be missing on the complex, Bar Luce designed by Wes Anderson.
Goodbye Prada Foundation and thanks to this a private and profit oriented company for providing all who are interested in cutting edge cultural events, revitalising the periphery and reviving old abandoned buildings with first class architecture.