short visit to milan -> part two: fondazione prada

even though i was planning on publishing this post several days after my first post on the short visit to milan, my computer had other plans.. it had simply decided to stop working :( it took us some time to find the new one.. however, i am back.. finally!

the second post is about fondazione prada, which opened in the humble neighborhood of largo isarco, only two streets away from my former apartment. of course, i couldn’t miss the chance to visit the newest contemporary art museum in milan, as well as my ex-hood :)

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the museum itself is a former distillery, dating back to the 1910s. the transformation lead to an architectural configuration that combines pre-existing buildings with three new structures. the result is a campus of post-industrial and new spaces with the inner courtyard, open to the city.

the following buildings make part of a museum and they each host different exhibitions: haunted house, podium, cisterna (tank), deposito (warehouse), nord (north) and sud (south), with other facilities such as biblioteca (library), bar and cinema.

i started my tour in the haunted house, the golden building which immediately captured my attention. this building also belonged to the old distillery; however, its structure was reinforced, while its external surface was glided. the interior is as interesting as the exterior, its large windows create a strong relationship with the surrounding, yet the sequence and size of single rooms preserve the intimacy of the inner space. haunted house hosts permanent exhibition of robert gober and louise bourgeois.

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my next stop was the cinema, where i watched a never shown documentary “roman polanski: my inspirations”, featuring a film review of movies that have inspired his work: citizen kane (1941), great expectations (1946), odd man out (1947), hamlet (1948), the bicycle thieves (1948) and 8 1/2 (1963).

then i went to what would become my favorite part of the museum – podium. it hosted a very interesting exhibition: serial classic – multiplying art in greece and rome, which aimed to represent and revive lost originals with an empty pedestals, on which are placed summaries of the ancient sources describing them. i have taken picture of several replicas along with their descriptions: praxiteles’s sartyr, myron’s discobolus and scopas’s pothoi.

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what i loved the most about this exhibition is how they managed to combine the art of classical period with the contemporary art and how they made me think they truly belong together.

the following three exhibitions would not capture my attention as the first three, but they are still worth mentioning: in part (which took place in the northern part of the museum: nord), an introduction (in the southern part: sud) and deposito.

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and finally, there’s bar luce, the lovely café, designed by wes anderson (director of “grand budapest hotel”). the café itself reminds of galleria vittorio emanuele, one of milan’s landmarks, especially with its vaulted ceiling and the motifs on the upper section of the wall.

when i went to the café, i was truly sad it was not open at least a couple of months earlier, so i could get my morning coffee and breakfast here.

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and then, i took a walk around the museum. great museums can be found all around the world, but an architectural piece like fondazione prada are only a few.

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destination vienna 2015

destination vienna 2015 (or destination wien 2015) is the name the exhibition in kunsthalle wien, one of the leading contemporary museums in vienna. the exhibition itself gives the landscape of contemporary art in vienna, presenting selected contributions from artists of different generations, working in various methods and differing in their use of media.

i have visited kunsthalle wien a couple of days ago and i am so glad i did so, since the exhibition ended just yesterday. i got to see many interesting works of the viennese contemporary artists and i will share with you my favorites:

— marina faust, stacks
the idea of the exhibition is to show that the overlay of see-through images does not necessarily offer transparency. rather, the underlying layers become visible. they are like shadows of the above image.

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— sonia leimer, neues land / nowaja semlja / new land
the work of sonia leimer combines historical footage of the nuclear-powered icebreaker lenin in action, as well as the excerpts from soviet propaganda footage of the space program. the video is projected onto an oversized envelope.

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— christian mayer, putting in time
this series presents original photographs taken from american newspaper archives dealing with the burying of time capsules.

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— karin pliem, concursus naturale I / concursus naturale II
the aim of these paintings is to bring together creatures from diverse parts and ecosystems worldwide: flora from the tropics, alpine valleys or the botanical gardens encounter sea animals or transgenic plants cured in the laboratory.

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— hanna putz, 07min02, 2015 / 15min47, 2015 / 12min21, 2015
the exhibited photographs show people waiting, which produces a concise image of passing time. the images’ titles give us a hint of the waiting time frame.

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–ana hoffner, transferred memories – embodied documents, 2014
the work transferred memories – embodied documents shows a conversation of two woman, who describe images of violence and horror in the north-west region of bosnia and herzegovina – prijedor, trnopolje and tomašica, while these images remain invisible.

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note:

in the video, women also talk about the day when citizens of prijedor were forced to mark their houses with white flags or sheets and to wear a white armband if they were to leave their houses, in order to distinct themselves. it was 31st may 1992.

31st may is known as the white armband day – by wearing the white armband we are showing solidarity with victims of prijedor, and also with all of those who were targeted for their race, ethnicity or political beliefs.

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jackson pollock.. in a word

recently i’ve visited an exhibition “pollock e gli irascibili” (pollock and the irascible) at palazzo reale (royal palace) in milano, where there were shown some of early works of jackson pollock, the founder and the major figure in the abstract expressionist movement, as well as works of the movement’s other representatives. even though i was eager to see works of jackson pollock again, i came out quite disappointed – only few early paintings were on display. major part of the exhibition contained works of other abstract expressionists, such as helen frankenthaler, sam francis and ad reinhardt (shown in the following picture).

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however, i did get to read something which, in my view, defines pollock’s way of painting and abstract expressionism in general:
“a painting is not about an experience. it is an experience”

the above quote helps me explain why jackson pollock is one of my favorite artists. also, i love the way that pollock’s paintings reveal his technique, so-called drip painting. and i do think the development of drip painting; laying down the large-scale canvases on the floor and creating the paintings by dripping paint of different colors, is pretty clever. with this technique, he was able to achieve a more immediate means of creating art, the paint was literally flowing from his chosen tool onto the canvas. also, by changing the conventional way of painting of the age, he added a new dimension to it, by being able to view and apply paint to his canvases from all directions.

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i had the fortune to admire his amazing pieces (not only the early works!) at MoMA museum in the new york city. only when i saw pollock’s major works in the full-scale, i was able to appreciate them the way they deserve it.

so how did i get to like pollock’s works and movement? well, i got informed on pollock’s paintings and life over the years, but the very first time i got introduced to his works was about 10 years ago, as i was watching the film “mona lisa smile”. one may say it is a typical chick-flick, but i liked it a lot. also, even for people who do not appreciate this genre, there’s a scene which makes this film worth of watching. it is the scene when professor watson (julia roberts) reveals one of the pollock’s paintings to her female students from the very conservative wellesley college.. to me, it is very powerful.

ps. as you may notice, i’ve decided to add new category on my blog – “la bellezza” or “the beauty”. this section is not going to be dedicated to art only, but also to design, fashion and other pretty things. i was inspired by the film “la grande bellezza”, about which i’ve written here.