Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The ring cycle

Who'd have thought a cultural smack down between two giant fashion houses would take place in Venice? 

In the left hand corner we have Prada with intellectual cred and a curatorial heavyweight. Germano Celant - a past director of the Venice Biennale and the person who first coined the term Arte Povera in 1967 - leads off for Prada. As we've already posted, Prada has filled its entire building with a highly researched recreation of the famous 1969 exhibition When attitudes become form

Then, in the right hand corner we have Gucci (YSL, Bottega Veneta, Sergio Rossi, Stella McCartney etc etc) for the François Pinault Foundation. Director Martin Bethenod is a journalist and previously Chief of Staff for the President of the Pompidou Centre. This might seem a little lightweight but the Pinault Foundation brings into the ring a gigantic installation by Rudolf Stingel at the Palazzo Grassi. Stingel has photographed an oriental rug, enlarged it and then had the enlarged image printed onto carpet. 

But wait, there’s more. Lots of carpet. It's been impeccably laid over the entire 5,000 square meters of the building, floors and walls. It’s about 4800 meters more than we needed.

A knock-out for Prada in the first round.

Images: Top, Rudolf Stingel at the Palazzo Grassi and bottom, a detail from Prada’s recreation of When attitudes become form. Photo: Attilio Maranzano for Fondazione Prada