Everytime I approach art, a special feeling hits my soul, something extraordinarily clashing and thought provoking, hard to come by in everyday life. An aspect of art which makes me love it that much, is the way it can confuse and reassure at the same time, intrigue and estrange, anguish or relieve. Art (including cinema, literature and fashion) is the only form of expression able to stir our minds and keep them in continuous action. We all need it, otherwise our personalities would be blank and superficial and the world we live in, offers many possibilities to avoid that…..nevertheless, I still encounter people who can’t appreciate that confused state of mind caused by the contact with art, because not everybody wants to sacrifice the shallowness of frivolity for the distressing consciousness raising in front of an artwork, it is hard to bear, whereas I personally find it easier confroting myself with something strange and difficult to reach, because only in this manner I feel I’m living my life fully.
That’s why I visited the Prada Foundation, ’cause that is the place where nothing is expected and on the contrary everything is a misterious potpourri of feelings. Located in a former distillery dating back to the 1910s, it is a complex of old buildings and futuristic structures, so, as soon as you come in, you understand that something jars, but with a perfect harmony. Ancient and new are perfectly connected, creating intertwined wide and narrow spaces, leading to sensations of freedom or anxiety, introspection or extroversion in a rich neutrality full of contents to explore.
Within the itinerary, the golden Haunted House with the permanent exhibition of Robert Gober and Louise Bourgeois is the most intimate place. Vertically developed, this tower hosts a work by Bourgeois which I really loved, the “Cell (clothes)” conceived in the 1996, adjoining a sequence of doors in a circular construction peopled by sculptures combined together with personal objects and clothes belonging to the artist. A misterious, warm and melancholic installation reflecting one of the themes this french-american sculptor often developed: the loneliness, connected to fear and pain. Emotions we all somehow run into but don’t want to realize. This is the right place to verify and face them.
Left the Haunted House, going along the old distillery, you find the enormous rooms which ones hosted the cisterns. Now in the Foundation we find installed “Trittico”, another exhibition that left a mark in my mind. The most breathtaking of the three pieces is “Lost Love” by Damien Hirst. a contestable genius of the XXI Century. This work is a submerged gynaecologist’s office,complete with chair, glass-topped trolley, medical and surgical equipment, coat stand, lab coat, handbag, shoes, gold watch, pearl necklace and gold rings, turned into an aquarium for African fishes. The first reaction could be: and then? That was mine too…but after having thought a little, I understood it actually represented the moment after an abortion and consequently that it mirrors a distressing relation between life and death and the continuity of nature in it. Irritating and annoying, but at the same time stimulating and involving…a really strange work of art, which will stay with me lifelong.
There are infinite aspects of Prada Foundation which have stolen my heart, for example the Bar Luce, planned by Wes Anderson himself! Miuccia Prada and Wes already collaborated for the fashion film of the maison, “Castello Cavalcanti”, and this project is the confirmation of this successful artistic partnership. A coffee bar from the american sixties, enriched by bebop melodies of a jukebox, where guests are received by waiters in sixites style uniforms in a cinematographic and vintage atmosphere. An experience everybody has to live.
If you have the opportunity to visit Prada Foundation, go and do it. Your mind and soul will thank you.