Daily Archives: June 20, 2007

Prada’s Market and Marfa Store Sculpture

These days Prada isn’t just a name in fashion. The venerable Italian fashion house has its elegant fingers in several other pies including mobile phones and staging mammoth events.

Last month the label hosted one of the parties of the year in the city of Valencia in Spain to celebrate the America’s Cup. As principal sponsors of one of the participating yachts, Luna Rossa, Prada spared no expense at its lavish VIP do held at the Central Market which is normally home to a buzzing produce market.

The event attracted a slew of local and international celebrities who lapped up the unique ambience – organizers left a lot of the stalls intact including fruit stalls and delis, and guests were invited to sample the produce on offer. One deli housed the event’s DJ, who mixed tunes amid the Parma ham and anchovy tins, while other stalls where converted into mini showcases of Prada accessories; with belts and bags hanging from hooks as if they were pieces of fruit. In one deli stall Prada even displayed its silk turban range.

via TCH

In 2005, near the West Texas towns of Valentine and Marfa, a pair of Scandinavian artists, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, unveiled Prada Marfa, a sculpture masquerading as a Prada mini-boutique. Located along an isolated stretch of U.S. Highway 90, the 15 by 25-foot adobe and stucco building was partially funded by the Prada Foundation.

 West Texas has a history of faux-ruins. Beginning in the 50s, flatcars arrived from California carrying “Riata.” This huge prop became the plywood-thin mansion of Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson in Giant. The mansard-roofed prop bravely weathered the West Texas climate for years. It’s last appearance was a cameo appearance in Fandango.



Then there was the Oasis Gas Station for the movie Dancer, Texas, pop. 81 and finally Contrabando – a complete faux-village built just north of the Rio Grande on highway 170 that has appeared in both US and Mexican movies – at least one of them named Contrabando.

But Prada Marfa takes the proverbial cake. Movie sets are meant to be art but seldom are they wry statements. Prada Marfa is (was) both.


It’s “Grand-opening” / showing occurred on October 1st, 2005. (My invitation was probably lost in the excitement of hurricane Rita.) When I first saw the photos of the sculpture – I knew that the glass windows and doorway probably didn’t see the sunrise of October 2nd. (Actually, the vandals took three days to arrive.)

The artists and supporters of this project knew this too. Made of earth-friendly earth, this biodegradable adobe building will slowly melt back into the landscape once the looters have removed the merchandise. The slow fade to oblivion will provide countless hours of conversation for motorists driving through West Texas. Starting with simple questions like “What the hell was that?” it’s sure to inspire more thoughtful dialogue – like “When is advertising art?” or “When is art advertising?” Or (for really long trips) “What is art, anyway?”

Via Luke Warm at Texas Escapes
More Prada Marfa pics from chacal la chaise

prăda (romanian-english dictionary)

1. to sack, to loot

2. (pe cineva) to rob, to strip

3. to plunder, to rob

4. mil. to pillage

5. (a devasta) to ravage

prad [prad]

–noun Australian.

Informal. horse.

[Origin: 1790–1800; metathetic var. of D paard horse (c. G Pferd) ≪ LL paraverédus post horse for lesser highways. See palfrey]

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

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