“Art must have a vision of the future…” Miuccia Prada in conversation with Francesco Vezzoli, in The Pain and Pleasure Issue, 2009.
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This marriage between fashion and art, in this instance Miuccia Prada and Francesco Vezzoli, is full of similarities and differences. Art is rooted in tradition. Fashion seeks out the new. But then art seeks out the new too, and fashion is rooted in tradition. The pair trust each other – to inspire, paint portraits, curate exhibitions and tie their names together time and time again. Embracing the vision of the future, Miuccia and Francesco have now collaborated on a 24-hour museum, which opened in Paris last night, and will close tonight. We’re already losing time. 16 hours late in fact and if that’s not art as a vision of the future what is?
Continuing the theme of juxtaposition, the overnight exhibition is being held in the stately Palais d’Iéna, erected between 1936 and 1946. Designed by the all-star artist Vezzoli in collaboration with Dutch architect and urban planner Rem Koolhaas, the exhibition is divided into three sections: historic, contemporary and forgotten. Linger on the last. Vezzoli’s work is caged in the central space peeping between neon grills. The rest of the space houses goddess-like sculptures of women, 21st century faces (Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, Eva Mendes – and one Mary and baby Jesus adaptation of his mother) on Rodin-like sculptures set on marble plinths within a neon pink room. One modern day Venus was tagged with a Facebook Like button to emphasise that vision of the future we suppose and the position of modern art today.
The grand opening last night celebrated with a dinner and dance, with Kate Moss and Matthew Stone commanding the decks. Of course with Vezzoli’s circle of friends and Miuccia’s recent brush with celeb at the AW12 mens show, the guestlist was something else. Diane Kruger, Catherine Deneuve, Marianne Faithfull, Salma Hayek, Roman Polanski, Audrey Tautou, Anna Wintour, Emmanuelle Alt, Isabelle Huppert, to name just a few, joined the celebrations. Today the museum is open to the public, until 4pm, and then local schools have been invited to look around, the eyes of the future taking in the art of the future.
There’s something irreverent but magical in a 24 hour museum. But we’re wasting time imagining. Vite vite! There’s only 6.5 hours left on the clock.
The 24 Hour Museum is open until 8.30pm tonight.
Text: Sarah Raphael
FV: Painting your portrait was a big challenge for me.
FV: Because it’s very difficult and I’ve never painted a portrait of a friend who is also famous. I know your private side while others see your public side.
MP: Do you think it’s like gossiping?
FV: In a certain sense… Painting a portrait used to be a very common thing for an artist, but it isn’t that simple today. Actually, almost no one paints portraits anymore, and those who are commissioned to do so are accused of selling-out.
MP: But this isn’t a commissioned portrait. Art must depict the life of a person in some way. It must know how to analyse it, perceive certain aspects, and then foresee it… Art must have a vision of the future…