Fondazione Prada is presenting the exhibition: L’image volée (The stolen image), a group show curated by the artist Thomas Demand. Architecture designed by sculptor Manfred Pernice occupies both levels of the Nord gallery at Fondazione Prada in Milan. Exhibition starts 18th of March and will remain open till the 28. August 2016. The press preview is to be held on Thursday, 17. March from 9am to 12pm.
“L’image volée,” includes more than 90 works produced by over 60 artists from 1820 through the present day. Demand’s idea for the exhibition is to explore the way we all rely on pre-existing models, and how artists have always referred to existing imagery to make their own. Questioning the boundaries between originality, conceptual inventiveness and the culture of the copy, the project focuses on theft, authorship, annexation and the creative potential of such pursuits. The exhibition presents three possible investigations: the physical appropriation of the object or its absence; theft as related to the image per se rather than the concrete object itself; and the act of stealing through the making of an image. The exhibition has been conceived as an eccentric, unconventional exploration of such topics through empirical inquiry. Rather than an encyclopedic analysis, it offers visitors an unorthodox insight into a voyage of artistic discovery and research.
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The first section of the exhibition displays photographs, paintings and films in which the stolen or missing object becomes the scene or evidence of a crime. Included in this section are works that directly echo criminal ideas, such as Maurizio Cattelan’s framed theft report for an immaterial artwork he claimed as robbed – Senza titolo (1991) -, or Stolen Rug (1969), a Persian carpet that Richard Artschwager commissioned to be stolen for the exhibition “Art by Telephone” in Chicago. Other works evoke the absence resulting from an act of theft, like the canvas by Adolph von Menzel, Friedrich der Grosse auf Reisen (1854), which had the portrayed faces incised from it. Other pieces are based on the alteration of preexisting artworks, for example, Richter-Modell (interconti) (1987), a painting by Gerhard Richter that was transformed into a coffee table by Martin Kippenberger and Pierre Bismuth’s Unfolded Origami (2016), who made new work out of original posters by Daniel Buren. All these works explore the notion of authors’ control over their own creations.
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The second part of the exhibition analyzes the logic behind appropriation within the creative process. This section begins with the concept of counterfeiting and falsification, exemplified by the hand-reproduced banknote by forger Günter Hopfinger. The exhibition moves on to explore practices that are close to Appropriation Art, such as Sturtevant’s Duchamp Man Ray Portrait (1966), who reclaims a photographic portrait of Marcel Duchamp realized by Man Ray, substituting both the author and the subject of the photograph with herself. Other artists drive the logic of counterfeiting to its limit, including taking possession of another . – from Fondazione Prada
All images courtesy of Fondazione Prada