Purpose and Values
2–3 OCTOBER, 2019
AN INSTALLATION BY THEASTER GATES
AT 180 THE STRAND
FEATURING COLLECTIVE INTIMACY
A LIVE PROGRAMME IN COLLABORATION WITH
THE VINYL FACTORY AND THE SHOWROOM, LONDON
Prada presents the third iteration of Prada Mode, a traveling social club with a focus on contemporary culture that provides members a unique art experience along with music, dining, and conversations. The club is organized to augment and extend significant cultural events in various cities worldwide. The inaugural iteration coincided with Art Basel: Miami Beach in December of 2018 followed by a second at Art Basel: Hong Kong in March 2019.
Prada Mode London occupies 180 The Strand, the iconic Brutalist building in the heart of the city, on October 2nd and 3rd, with a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events. Here, American artist Theaster Gates presents a new chapter of Black Image Corporation, a project that explores the visual and cultural representation of contemporary Black identity and material culture, from the legacy of Ebony and Jet magazines in the Johnson Publishing Company’s iconic archives, old record stores from the artist’s hometown in the South Side of Chicago, and the powerful creative energy currently pulsing through London.
Theaster Gates’s reactivated spaces in Chicago and his collaborative projects worldwide provide platforms for these archival collections and participating communities to connect and grow. This installation aims to create a new space for people to gather to listen, converse, and contemplate amongst a fusion of art, architecture, music, and everyday life, exploring the methodologies of urban renewal and community activation which underpins Gates’s artistic practice.
In addition, Prada Mode launches Collective Intimacy, a live programme of performances and talks created in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory and The Showroom, London. Inspired by Gates’s ethos of collaboration and togetherness, Collective Intimacy takes on multiple trans-located narratives of the current Black experience as a point of departure for a cosmopolitan worldview. This unique live programme will host interdisciplinary interventions by artists, musicians, cultural producers, collectives and members of the public, distorting ideas of togetherness and selfhood in the spirit of creating a temporary global community.
Distinct spaces designed by Gates’s will create a myriad of possibilities for collective engagements to which Prada Mode members may enjoy over the course of the two-day period: a screening room featuring the artist’s new films amongst a selection of videos by emerging artists; a DJ Plinth where The Vinyl Factory Radio and London-based creative Collectives will host radio sessions and activate records from the artist’s Dr Wax collection; a Mississippi Shack where guests can encounter ceramic objects and enjoy more intimate conversations; and the Temple where art and music performances will come to life and radiate throughout. Amongst these zones, an interspersed installation of Gates’s art objects and furnishings capture the methodologies of urban renewal and community activation founding his practice. Pieces from Chicago imbued with powerful histories, uses, and localities resonate with distinctive lounge design from here in London – like a love letter between two cities, under the roof of a new House.
Panel discussions and screenings involve luminaries from the fields of fashion design, literature, fine art, and collectives, such as Grace Wales Bonner, Larry Achiampong, Phoebe Boswell, POSTSCRIPT, and Thick/er Black Lines, while live performances feature dancers, singers, musicians, and poets, including Julianknxx, Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf, Inua Ellams, and more.
ABOUT PRADA MODE
Prada Mode is a travelling private club that provides members a unique experience with a focus on contemporary culture. Imagined as a place that augments and extends significant global cultural gatherings at diverse locations worldwide, Prada Mode offers guests exclusive access to unique programs and content that complement the themes and subjects of the host event. In advance of the event, Prada Mode members receive credentials and special invitations for all current and future occurrences of the club. The inaugural iteration, Prada Mode Miami, was held at Freehand Miami from December 4th to 6th, 2018, and served as both an exclusive destination and a discreet, elegant retreat from the daily clamor of high-intensity cultural engagements during Art Basel: Miami Beach. A site-specific intervention by artist Theaster Gates was present throughout the club imbued with the experience of music, retreat and archival practice. On the occasion of Art Basel: Hong Kong, Prada Mode Hong Kong took over the third floor of Barrack Block of Tai Kwun on March 27 and 28, 2019. Events included a special set up of the Prada Invites project and Dolls’ House, an installation by photographer Jamie Diamond, as well as conversations on actual themes.
ABOUT THEASTER GATES
Theaster Gates lives and works in Chicago where he creates work that focuses on space theory and land development, sculpture and performance. In 2010, Gates created the Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit platform aimed at galvanizing communities through neighbourhood regeneration and the development of educational and arts programming and amenities. Many of the foundation’s initiatives have focused on the revitalization of Chicago’s South Side, creating hubs and archives for black culture, which serve as catalysts for discussions on race, equality, space, and history. Known for his recirculation of art-world capital, Gates creates works with a focus on the possibility of the “life within things.” Gates smartly upturns art values, land values, and human values. In all aspects of his work, he contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise – one defined by collective desire, artistic agency, and the tactics of a pragmatist. His current academic affiliations with the University of Chicago; the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; and Colby College, Waterville, Maine, aid the evolution of earlier vocational pursuits in public service, urban planning, and religious studies. Gates has exhibited and performed at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2019); Gropius Bau, Berlin (2019), Sprengel Museum Hannover (2018); Kunstmuseum Basel (2018); National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA (2017); Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (2016); Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2016, 2017); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013); Punta della Dogana, Venice (2013) and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012). Public collections include Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles. Gates was the winner of the Artes Mundi 6 prize and was a recipient of the Légion d’Honneur in 2017. He was recently awarded the Nasher Prize for Sculpture 2018, as well as the Urban Land Institute, J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. In 2019, Gates was selected for the Visions of the City – Obayashi Foundation Research Program in Japan.
ABOUT THE VINYL FACTORY
The Vinyl Factory is the world’s foremost vinyl enterprise. A record label, pressing plant, magazine, radio station and curator/collaborator for artists and musicians to explore new ideas in audio-visual arts.
In addition to releasing limited edition vinyl made in collaboration with musicians and artists, The Vinyl Factory also curates a site-specific program of audio-visual experiences at The Store X, 180 The Strand and works in partnership with leading art organisations including the Venice Biennale, Hayward Gallery, New Museum NY, Barbican, Art Basel, Frieze and the Serpentine. Vinyl releases to date include: Daft Punk, Marina Abramović, Massive Attack, Róisín Murphy, Christian Marclay, Florence + the Machine, Dinos Chapman, Michèle Lamy, Thom Yorke, Hito Steyerl, Pet Shop Boys, and Yussef Dayes.
Commissions to date include Strange Days: Memories of the Future in partnership with New Museum, Everything At Once in partnership with Lisson Gallery and The Infinite Mix in partnership with Hayward Gallery and new works by artists including Ryoji Ikeda, Kahlil Joseph, Hito Steyerl, Ragnar Kjartansson, Theaster Gates, United Visual Artists and Jeremy Deller.
ABOUT THE SHOWROOM
For over thirty-five years The Showroom has been committed to serving as a platform for emerging practices and ideas, where collaboration, criticality, and learning are integral to the production of unconventional art and discourse. Our ground-breaking approach fosters experimental practices and reflects upon everyday life through its engagement with the local community. The Showroom also advocates for international transdisciplinary forms of art and education, and remains a key agent bringing together projects around art and social justice. Artists who have worked with The Showroom include Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Can Altay, Ricardo Basbaum, Beatrice Gibson, Lungiswa Gqunta, Subodh Gupta, Mona Hatoum, Sarah Lucas, Christina Mackie, Oscar Murillo, Uriel Orlow, The Otolith Group, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, Ima-Abasi Okon, Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Arjuna Neuman Ciara Phillips and Eva Rothschild. For the past year The Showroom has been under the leadership of Director and Chief Curator Elvira Dyangani Ose. She is currently affiliated to the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, the Thought Council at the Fondazione Prada, and Tate Modern Advisory Council. The Collective Intimacy live programme is curated by Director Elvira Dyangani Ose with Assistant Curator Katherine Finerty, The Showroom, London.