Analysis out of the box

Anything is possible for patrons

Analysis out of the boxContemporary Art | The Venice Biennial has become a strategic chessboard where the key design and market trends of the future become manifest. This year, in the face of private foundations, two exhibitions have set themselves apart through their unique characteristics and budget : the Prada Foundation is reinstating « live in your head, When Attitudes Become Form » , created in 1969 by Harald Szeemann, while the Pinault Foundation is reviving the fabulous world of Mitteleuropa with a colossal Rudolf Stingel installation in the Palazzo Grassi collection. Two patrons from the luxury sector; two predominant voices in the art world; two visions in an inverted mirror.

Vues de l’installation When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013, Germano Celant en dialogue avec Thomas Demand et Rem Koolhaas, Fondation Prada, Ca’Corner della Re © Fondation Prada
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Vues de l’installation When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013, Germano Celant en dialogue avec Thomas Demand et Rem Koolhaas, Fondation Prada, Ca’Corner della Re
© Fondation Prada

Patronage : art and the remarkable team up with luxury

Contemporary art has become a proven strategic tool in the luxury economy. Leaders must become visionaries through their connections in the art world or their artistic sensibilities and then share this spirit with the public through their ability to inspire and create extraordinary projects or artistic visions. Since 1995, Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli have taken on a pioneering role, transforming PradaMilanoArte - an exhibition space dedicated to contemporary art since 1993 - into a foundation. Bringing renowned curator of the Arte Povera movement, Germano Celant in as artistic director, the Prada Foundation is setting itself apart from the eponymous family group, focusing on art, philosophy and film, despite the fact that artists have no role in corporate affairs.
François Pinault has spent twenty years building his collection, reflecting the success of his group which aims for « the most promising markets, by way of powerful and recognised brands » ; he has developed a thematic exhibition programme in the two places occupied by his foundation in Venice, using his collection and an exhibition strategy which looks beyond the walls created by his team of curators ( » A triple tour » , at the Paris Conciergerie during the 2013 FIAC).
Unlike LVMH which involves artists in the brand (Murakami, Kusama, Buren), Muiccia Prada and Francois Pinoult are promoting the name of their group by patronage alone and their cultural support. In the image of great Renaissance patrons, each of the three is associating their name with that of a great contemporary architect : the Pinault Foundation and Tadeo Ando, the LVMH Foundation and Frank Gherry, and the Prada Foundation and Rem Koolhaas.

The purity of artistic processes honoured by the Prada Foundation

 » Live in your Head - When Attitudes become Form » , created by Harald Szeemann for the Bern Kunsthalle in 1969 focuses on ten years of fertile innovation and experimentation spanning all of the avant-garde movements - Pop Art, Conceptual and Minimal art, Fluxus, Land art and Arte Povera - highlighting the processes, improvisation and the incomplete. This exhibition, which was criticised and fell under the radar in its time has remained iconic, delving into the very essence of art throughout history : laying bare the process of creation.
Miuccia Prada came up with the mad idea to revive this exhibition in an 18th century Venetian palace in the present day; a « mission impossible » comprising three challenges : 1) to revive and re-examine the context of the time and the advances made by these young revolutionaries - an endangered golden age - without worship or nostalgia; 2) to transplant the times by transferring the time and space of ?69 Bern into 2013 Venice according to the vision set out by Germano Celant : to showcase the exhibition as a ready-made collection by renaming it, « When Attitudes Become Form : Bern 69-Venice 2013 »; 3) to install the revamped Bern exhibition in a Venetian palace with a Baroque air; a quasi-Pharonic line of work led by architect Rem Koolhaas and artist Thomas Demand whose job it was to create life-size decors based on a real place.
The Prada Foundation has put itself forward to promote this vast archaeological worksite in order to rediscover value and wealth in artistic research which has been weighed down by the confusion in the global market. It also aims to showcase the scientific approach no longer used by certain museums and institutions which are now market subsidiaries.

Memory-based emotions extracted by Rudolph Stingel at the Palazzo Grassi

Italian artist Rudolph Stingel explores the concept of passage, the abstraction of figurative art - both monochrome and decorative, from a painted scene to the space environment, from space to decor - brilliantly tapping into questions such as endurance and perception along the thread of emotion. On the market, his prices have skyrocketed since his retrospective at the Whitney museum in 2007, while Francois Pinault has supported and maintained close patronage links with artists since the launch of his foundation in 2006. Carte blanche to take over the Palazzo Grassi in its entirety : an unprecedented and unique project with unlimited logistical tools at their disposal. The place is entirely upholstered in carpet which reproduces the architectural and one-dimensional motifs of the same oriental rugs as those covering the walls and couch in Freud’s home. The motifs have been computer-generated and the pixellated particles of wool have a disorderly and strange appearance. Rudolph Stingel has achieved a complete piece of art (in homage to Austrian artist Franz West, who recently passed away) where the visitor experiences the introspection imposed by the environment of muffled sounds, silvery monochrome paintings and figurative paintings in black and white, which generate memory-based emotions. This exhibition immerses you in the fabulous worlds of Mitteleuropa, Freud and the origins of psychoanalysis.

Nina Rodrigues-Ely
Publié le 26/04/2013
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Version française

Vues de l’installation When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013, Germano Celant en dialogue avec Thomas Demand et Rem Koolhaas, Fondation Prada, Ca’Corner della Re © Fondation Prada Vues de l’installation When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013, Germano Celant en dialogue avec Thomas Demand et Rem Koolhaas © Fondation Prada, Ca’ Corner della Regina, Venise Vues de l’installation When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013, Germano Celant en dialogue avec Thomas Demand et Rem Koolhaas © Fondation Prada, Ca’ Corner della Regina, Venise

Vues de l’installation When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013, Germano Celant en dialogue avec Thomas Demand et Rem Koolhaas, Fondation Prada, Ca’Corner della Re
© Fondation Prada

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