Purpose and Values
Milan, February 2, 2022 — On 16 and 17 of February, Prada presents the seventh iteration of Prada Mode at Genghis Cohen featuring an immersive installation by the artist Martine Syms, to coincide with Frieze Los Angeles.
A traveling social club with a focus on contemporary culture, Prada Mode provides members with a unique art experience along with music, dining, and conversations.
Prada Mode Los Angeles occupies Genghis Cohen, the iconic restaurant and music venue on historic Fairfax Avenue. The location is transformed by the artist Martine Syms with the interactive installation titled “HelLA World.” Syms, known for a practice that blends “conceptual grit, humor, and social commentary” has shown extensively around the United States and internationally, and has created commissioned work for various partners.
“HelLA World” by Martine Syms is a text and video installation equal parts live performance, narrative exposition, and casual conversation with a stranger. Centered around a ticker-tape style monitor, the installation encourages guests to contribute messages, gossip, status updates and musings. These are complemented by additional monitors around the restaurant showing images and video. Bold and immersive, the monitors wrapping the space make public these exchanges conducted through our phones, reveling in the possibility of the collective unconscious writ large. Some spontaneous, some scripted, the exchanges are shot through with the repetition, predictability, frustration, humor, and occasional revelation that characterizes communication through technology. The text provides the backdrop for the experience, suggesting both the banality and the frisson of texting with a stranger, offering fodder for conversations taking place live in the space, and complementing the immersive underground environment the artist establishes for Prada Mode.
Prada Mode Los Angeles welcomes members’ access to the restaurant at any time over the course of the two-day members-club event to view the site-specific installation, attend talks, performances and culinary revelations.
ABOUT MARTINE SYMS
Martine Syms is an artist who has earned wide recognition for a practice that combines conceptual grit, humor and social commentary. She has shown extensively including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and ICA London. She has also done commissioned work for various brands. She is a recipient of the Creative Capital Award, a United States Artists fellowship, the Tiffany Foundation award, and the Future Fields Art Prize. She is in a band called Aunt Sister and hosts Double Penetration, a monthly radio show on NTS. She also runs Dominica Publishing.
ABOUT PRADA MODE
Prada Mode - a natural evolution of the iconic Prada Double Club by artist Carsten Höller (London 2008/2009; Miami 2017) - 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 the Barrack Block of Tai Kwun on March 27th and 28th, 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.
The club’s third iteration, Prada Mode London, occupied 180 The Strand, the iconic Brutalist building in the heart of the city for October 2nd and 3rd, 2019. The dynamic program included a new installment of Theater Gates’ Black Image Corporation, and the launch of Collective Intimacy, a live programme of performances and talks created in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory and The Showroom, London.
Prada Mode Paris was held at Maxim’s in Paris on January 19th and 20th, 2020, to align with the opening of Paris Haute Couture. The legendary 1893 Belle Époque restaurant was transformed by AI researcher and professor Kate Crawford and artist and researcher Trevor Paglen into an installation titled “Making Faces,” which included art projects and architectural modifications focusing on data gathering, surveillance and facial recognition.
Prada Mode Shanghai was held at Prada Rong Zhai, the historic villa in the heart of Shanghai, from August 31st to September 1st, 2020. Renowned director, producer, and writer Jia Zhang-Ke transformed the villa into MIÀN, a site-specific intervention inspired by the director’s cinematic work. The intervention was divided into three chapters that together “reflect[ed] the diverse faces of the world...to present human dignity which is called ‘tǐ miàn’ in Chinese.”
Most recently, Prada Mode Moscow occupied the historic Levenson Mansion in Moscow on December 3 and 4, 2021. World famous artist Damien Hirst transformed the historic building with his installation, Pharmacy. The installation was conceived as a fully functioning restaurant and bar in an installation of Hirst’s floor-to-ceiling medicine cabinets, and specially made butterfly paintings. Hirst designed furniture, architectural details such as a huge molecular model in its window, light boxes, and a wallpaper design taken from a catalogue of prescription medicine.