Atlas at Fondazione Prada... (Part II)


21/06/18 - Continuing our tour around this very diverse exhibition, with pieces belonging to Miuccia Prada’s collection, we reach the floor shared by Mona Hatoum (Beirut, 1952) and the Kienholz. Unlike what was shown in the previous rooms, where he got caught by exuberance, here the saddest and most embarassing chapter of Europpean history is recreated.
We see a series of assembled sculptures all of which contain vintage bakelite radios with other objects of daily life in the 40s. Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz bought old washing boards, tables and other furniture in flea markets so that we could dive in the daily routine of the inhabitants of Nazi Germany. The radios, mass-produced and distributed among the citizens to listen to the speeches, were placed by the artists over small tables, large speakers or lamps. We see austere structures where what’s truly important is the message coming out from the radios: a demonstration or a speech by a leader. To work them out, visitors must action a pedal and thus the artwork is completed. The original sound invades the room and blends with the ones coming out of the other “sculptures”. An infernal orchestra of a very dark time...
Der Ofreschirm, by Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz (1975)
 Mixed media assemblage
Brunhilde, by Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz (1974)
Mixed media assemblage
Zementkasten, by Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz (1975)
Mixed media assemblage
As we leave the room, we find Lebanese artist Mona Hatoum’s large installation. With no minimalism or surrealism, she presents the conflicts of our world using the ruins of a burnt house. The burnt chairs, table and bed look like shadows, ghosts. It’s unstable and horrific, causing fear but also fascination.  
Remains of the day, by Mona Hatoum (2014)
Wire mesh and wood
Remains of the day, by Mona Hatoum (2014) - Detail
Wire mesh and wood

(To be continued...)

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