Fondazione Prada: The Black Image Corporation

05.10.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

For their latest venture , Fondazione Prada presents a collaborative effort of American publishing house Johnson Publishing Company and installation artist Theaster Gates in their latest exhibition titled “The Black Image Corporation”.

This project which is on display at the foundation’s Osservatorio venue in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan explores the historic visual evolution of the contemporary African American identity. The exhibition includes the archives of the Johnson Publishing Company which feature more than 4 million images that have been captured throughout decades by photographers Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton. The publishing house was founded by John Johnson in 1942 and was also the mother of the two landmark publications Ebony and Jet magazines, which both celebrated black culture.

With the work of the publishing house’s two photographers, Theaster Gates has curated an exhibition which honours the culture in an a way which speaks to beauty and black female power, “for this show I hope to tease out the creation of female iconic moments created by Sleet and Sutton and also offer small forays into the lives of everyday people through never-before-seen images of the Johnson Collection. Today it seems to me a good times to dig into the visual lexicon of the American book and show images that are rarely seen outside of my community. I wanted to celebrate women of all kinds and especially black women.”

At the exhibition, while most frames contain developed images, some will show the reverse of photographs which will include the date, time and photographer. The audience is invited to freely interact and explore with these images which will be kept in various cabinets of the exhibition. On the first level of the Osservatorio, the artist has also installed original furnishing and interior design elements mimicking the publishing house’s downtown Chicago offices. Within this area, spectators will be allowed to browse and read copies of Ebony and Jet magazines while viewing Avenue In Full Bloom (2018) , which is a short film shot by gates documenting the actual office space in Chicago.  The exhibition is on display from September 20, 2018 to January 14, 2019.

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Fondazione Prada goes to Milan

02.02.2015 | Art | BY:

From 9 May, Largo Isarco, Milan, will be home to a pioneering new art space from the Fondazione Prada. Occupying a former 1910 distillery, the Fondazione has supplemented pre-existing buildings with three new structures to provide a cool 11,000m2 of dedicated exhibition space. Quirky director Wes Anderson has been enlisted to bring the air of old Milanese cafés to the on-site bar.

To add to the excitement, the activities which will accompany the site’s opening are sure to thrill art-lovers. Site-specific installations by Robert Gober and Thomas Demand will compliment the industrial architecture, while Roman Polanski will explore the cinematographic inspirations behind his artistic vision, translating into a documentary and a series of film screenings.

The Prada Collection will itself be presenting a series of thematic ancient art exhibitions, curated by Salvatore Settis. Rem Koolhaas’ OMA are behind the display system of the project, which analyses the themes of imitation in classical art and the reproduction of small-scale Greek and Roman sculptures from the Renaissance to Neoclassicism. All in all, an unbeatably cool artistic endeavour from the fashion powerhouse.


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