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August 21 2014

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3 posts tagged "Fondazione Prada"

Beyond the Arty Parties: A Look Inside the Venice Biennale

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Massimiliano Gioni at the Trussardi partyThings must once have been so much easier for the social set. They simply followed the sun. But in the past few weeks alone, the bold-type butterflies have winged from Frieze in New York to the film festival in Cannes—with diversions to Monte Carlo for the Dior Resort show and the Grand Prix—and, now, to Venice, where the Biennale, the senior citizen of international art events, swung into gear with three preview days. They launched with the New Museum’s dinner on Tuesday night for its director of exhibitions, Massimiliano Gioni (left), who is not only the curator of this year’s Biennale but also the artistic director of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation in Milan. On Thursday night, it was the Trussardis’ turn to host a party in honor of Gioni. Jessica Chastain and Leonardo DiCaprio were among the guests. Bridging the two evenings was an opening at the Fondazione Prada of an exhibition that fetishistically re-creates, down to the size of the rooms in the original, a watershed show from the Kunsthalle Bern in 1969.

All in all, the preview days perfectly captured the swirling symbiosis of art, film, and fashion that is currently gilding popular culture with a hectic glamour. But even the movie stars couldn’t deflect the spotlight from the 39-year-old Gioni, who, with charisma to spare, has hitched his own star to the venerable wagon of the Biennale, in the process creating the kind of art happening that people will buzz about for years—or at least for the rest of 2013 (it closes November 24).

Marino Aurtiri's installation at the Venice Biennale

If you have the great good fortune to make it to Venice this summer, you’ll be able to experience Gioni’s recasting of contemporary art as something playful, wondrous, mythic. His launchpad—and the title he has given his curatorial effort—is The Encyclopedic Palace. In 1955, an Italian immigrant named Marino Auriti imagined a towering structure covering sixteen blocks on the National Mall in Washington, DC, where all the world’s knowledge could be stored (above). The scale model Auriti built is the centerpiece of Gioni’s exhibition in the Arsenale, the complex of ancient warehouses and armories that is one of the Biennale’s “official” locations. So powerful is Auriti’s concept that it immediately strikes an obsessive, fantastical, almost dreamlike chord, which echoes not just through the Arsenale but through the work of the dozens of artists Gioni has curated in the huge central pavilion of the Giardini, the municipal gardens that are the Biennale’s other focal point. In fact, that chord is so insanely irresistible (literally—the obsession bordering on madness of outsider art is one of the dominant sensibilities on display) that it seemed to infect the exhibitions staged in the international pavilions that encircled Gioni’s playground. These ambassadorial exercises in aesthetics (picture a World’s Fair of art) are often heavy-going, but I tried to imagine what kids would make of Jeremy Deller’s murals and bird-of-prey movie in the UK pavilion, or Vadim Zakharov’s huge showerhead raining gold coins down on the crowd in the Russian pavilion (below), or Mathias Poledna’s three-minute cartoon in the Austrian pavilion, which revives Disney’s labor-intensive pre-digital animation of the late thirties and early forties to gorgeous, disturbing effect. I felt like a kid myself looking at these things, thrilled, enthralled, slightly derailed, but refreshed of vision. Continue Reading “Beyond the Arty Parties: A Look Inside the Venice Biennale” »

A Time Warp in Venice, Courtesy of Prada

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If Prada’s Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola-directed Candy films are any indication, Mrs. Prada is an expert in cultural cross-pollination. So, naturally, the designer’s Fondazione Prada will be hosting an exhibition at the fifty-fifth Venice Biennale, which kicks off June 1. But don’t expect a Met-esque fashion venture. Instead, Prada will present When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013—a to-a-tee re-creation of a groundbreaking show held in Bern, Switzerland, in 1969. The foundation plans to bring together works from the original installation (above), which featured icons such as Sol LeWitt, Richard Serra, Eva Hesse, Claes Oldenburg, and Carl Andre. And because it’s Prada, the whole thing will be set in the foundation’s eighteenth century palace, Ca’ Corner della Regina. Vintage conceptual art in Prada’s Italian mini-castle? We say bring on the Biennale.

When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013will be on view at the Ca’ Corner della Regina, in Venice, from June 1 through November 24.

Photo: An installation view of Live in
Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form, 1969, via grupaok.tumblr.com

All About Abbey, What Beckham’s Expecting, And More…

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Australia’s Abbey Lee Kershaw (left) is “more than just a pretty face,” she tells the Herald Sun. Among many other things, she’s also a whole bunch of piercings and tattoos. [Herald Sun via Racked]

Prada will celebrate Milan Design Week with a new exhibition for the Fondazione Prada, curated by the Brussels-based architecture and design group Rotor. The show, held at the Via Fogazzaro exhibition hall where Prada stages its runway shows, will include sets and materials from past collections, reinterpreted by the group. [Fondazione Prada]

It’s a girl at last for Victoria Beckham. The singer turned designer—who has three boys with husband David Beckham—is expecting her first daughter. [Vogue U.K.]

Is the fedora a force for evil? The new Matt Damon thriller The Adjustment Bureau suggests it is—the fate-adjusting villains led by John Slattery all wear them. And as the Times points out, so do plenty of crooks, thieves, and malcontents. [NYT]

Photo: Gianni Pucci / GoRunway.com