PRADA MARFA (2005)

By Mikal Strøm

Prada Marfa is a site specific, permanent land art project by artists Elmgreen & Dragset. From a distance the artwork appears to be a large minimalist sculpture. As one gets closer the building resembles a Prada boutique where a display of Fall 2005 high-heel Prada shoes and bags can be seen through the store front windows. However, the sculpture will never function as a place of commerce, the door cannot be opened.

 

 

 The Prada Marfa is Elmgreen & Dragset’s comment to repetitive gentrification. How its always the same story: First the artists and the creatives move into the area, followed by the galleries. After the galleries, the fashion shows arrive followed by the chains of stores.

 

  

After covered the windows on one of their New York show with a sign saying “opening soon Prada”. The publics excitement over this inspired the duo to take a Prada store and bring it completely out of context and see how it survives”. The sculpture was intended never to be repaired – instead, the idea was to leave their work to crumble into the landscape like a late-capitalist relic. Plans soon changed as, over the last decade, the work has been robbed, defaced, trashed and restored. For and overview of what has happened over the last 12 years, check out the #PradaMarfa Instagram hashtag.

The building is situated 2,3km northwest of Valentine, Texas. In other words.. In the middle of nowhere.