ITALY / Milan / Foundation Prada: Elmgreen & Dragset
by Modem
© Modem

until Monday August 22 2022

Fondazione Prada
T : +39 02 56 66 26 11
Largo Isarco 2
20139 Milan

"Useless Bodies?" is an exhibition by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, one of the most extensive thematic investigations ever undertaken by Fondazione Prada.

Conceived for four exhibition spaces and the courtyard of the Prada headquarters in Milan, for a total of over 3,000 m2, the exhibition explores the condition of the body in the post-industrial era, in which our physical presence seems to have lost its centrality to the point of being superfluous.

This change has an impact on every aspect of our lives: from working conditions and health to interpersonal relationships and the way we record information. The project also addresses the ways in which individuals physically adapt to a world increasingly dominated by two-dimensional imagery, particularly with reference to the current pandemic.

As Elmgreen & Dragset stated, "Our bodies are no longer the active subjects of our existences. Unlike in the industrial era, they no longer generate value within the advanced production mechanisms of contemporary society. One could even say that our physical identities have become more of an obstacle than an advantage.

In the 19th century, the body produced consumer goods, whereas in the following century, the body became mainly a consumer. In the first two decades of the 21st century, the body holds the status of a product whose data is collected and sold by Big Tech. At a time when the commodification of personal data by tech companies is in the public domain - albeit unnecessarily so - and the influence of these organisations on every aspect of our lives is increasingly pervasive, it is a little scary to think about the future role of our bodies."

The perception of the body is a central theme for Elmgreen & Dragset and runs through many aspects of their sculptural and performance practice. Throughout their careers, the artists have addressed central issues such as growth, intimacy, identity, and different ways of experiencing and navigating the public dimension.

Following an exhibition route that runs from the two floors of the Podium to the North Gallery and the Cistern, the public encounters a sequence of immersive installations. The Fondazione Prada headquarters in Milan is thus transformed into a plurality of universes identified by specific atmospheres, aesthetics and themes.

© Modem