“Consider well the seed that gave you birth: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.” – Dante Alighieri (XXVI, Inferno)
The twenty-sixth lyric of Dante's Inferno tells the story of a tireless man with an acute curiosity: The legendary Ulysses yearning of knowledge and truth that for years traveled to discover the unknown remotest.
Knowledge has no age nor any type of limit, after a tiresome achievement of an objective there comes another objective, harder than the one prior to it. This is a truth that both Ulysses and Miuccia Prada share.
Miuccia Prada: One of the Italian fashion heroines, a former member of the Communist Party, a feminist and a lover of art in all its dimensions. She became the owner of the family group in 1978 and since 1998, she grants us with garments defined by an intellectual attitude and a unique personality that fear no comparisons. A woman characterized by a great vision, aiming to explore new aesthetics beyond what we have known so far.
With her husband Patrizio Bertelli, they created the Prada Foundation in 1993, an institution that over the years became an important cultural center in the contemporaty Italian art scenery and worldwide.
Art must enrich our daily lives, help us to understand the changes that happen in the our surrounding world and to us personally: This notion becomes the mission of the Prada Foundation's world.
In 2011 Prada Foundation’s first exhibition venue was inaugurated in Venice, Ca 'Corner della Regina, a truly special location dating back to 1700 and overlooking the Grand Canal. In 2015 Miuccia Prada opened The Fondazione Prada in the south part of Milan city, in Largo Isarco 2, built around an old distillery of the twentieth century, and hilighted by a bar designed by Film Director, Wes Anderson, reminiscent of the typical Milanese coffee shop ambience.
Miuccia and her team have tried to project to the spaces a cultural polyphony, through exhibitions, projects, events and special collaborations, a feast for the eyes and ears of the creative devotees.
The participation of the Prada group in the cultural territory extends beyond the contemporary art: This year it has contributed towards the restructuring of the Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari, the Tuscan Renaissance artist, while starting 2013, Prada has written a new chapter on the history of Prada Journal: a new interesting international project in collaboration with Luxottica. A creative writing contest targeting the emerging writers all over the world, with the goal to endorse an indipendent literary research platform open to writers “who can capture the subtleties and multifaceted aspects of reality…”, in new semiotic languages.
Their ambitious project goes beyond and surpasses every signle expectations with the Osservatorio, opening on December 21, 2016, the new Fondazione Prada exhibition space in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Hosted on the fifth and sixth floor of one of the city’s central buildings, Osservatorio is located above the octagon, the level of the glass and iron dome that covers the gallery built by Giuseppe Mengoni. Spaces rebuilt after the bombings of World War II, underwent a restoration that has made available an exhibition area of 800 m2.
This new space will be dedicated to photography and visual languages, trying to explore the trends of contemporary photographic expressions, investigating the cultural and social implications of the current photographic production, while attempting to reflect the cultural realities of our present.
Osservatorio’s program will open with the exhibition "Give Me Yesterday", curated by Francesco Zanot (from 21 December 2016 to 12 March 2017).
Through a trajectory composed by more than 50 works of 14 Italian and international creatives (Melanie Bonajo, Kenta Cobayashi, Tomé Duarte, Irene Fenara, Lebohang Kganye, Vendula Knopová, Leigh Ledare, Wen Ling, Ryan McGinley, Izumi Miyazaki, Joanna Piotrowska, Greg Reynolds, Antonio Rovaldi, Maurice van Es), the exhibition explores the use of photography as a personal diary in a time span ranging from the beginning of the twenty-first century to the present.
Miuccia as Ulysses: Persistent, tirelss, curious, visionnaire, intelligent, a wonder woman.
An infinite number of projects that spell consistency and dedication, provide the space for different voices out of the core, bringing forward new points of views, new stimuli, new ways of interpretation and new horizons to look forward to.
Words Alessandro Ieva
Content Editor Annie Markitanis
Picture 1 Fondazione Prada Osservatorio (Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti, Courtesy Fondazione Prada)
Picture 2 Fondazione Prada Osservatorio (Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti, Courtesy Fondazione Prada)
Picture 3 Fondazione Prada Osservatorio (Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti, Courtesy Fondazione Prada)
Picture 4 Fondazione Prada Osservatorio (Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti, Courtesy Fondazione Prada)
Picture 5 Fondazione Prada Osservatorio (Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti, Courtesy Fondazione Prada)
Picture 6 Francesco Zanot and Miuccia Prada, Fondazione Prada Osservatorio (Photo: Ugo Dalla Porta)