The guru of Fondazione Prada: “From the airports to the city 15 minutes, ready for the challenge”

The guru of Fondazione Prada: “From the airports to the city 15 minutes, ready for the challenge”
The guru of Fondazione Prada: “From the airports to the city 15 minutes, ready for the challenge”

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Milan – The first thing what he does in the morning as soon as he wakes up is to talk to Miuccia Prada and then hear her again, a second time, very late in the evening. “A direct line, she follows her ‘baby’ closely but obviously, she jokingly tells me (but not too much) that she has to work first!”. Chiara Costa, 44 years old, art historian, researcher and since 2019 Head of Programs of Fondazione Prada for Milan and Venice with the task of coordinating the development of cultural programming and following the institutional relations of the Foundation.

What do you think of the city in 15 minutes, the backbone of the post-Covid urban planning projects of the Municipality of Milan, with funds from the Recovery fund?
“The city is small, there are all the elements to develop this model. We need to push for a cultural change. These are decisive years, we cannot go on automatic pilot. Let me give you an example … here we are two kilometers from the Duomo as the crow flies and yet we ourselves still feel in the “periphery”.
The office window of this former distillery transformed into a museum by the Prada Foundation overlooks the former railway station of Porta Romana. Here the Olympic Village will be built and after the Games the spaces will be converted to social housing.
Yes, it’s all true now .. and I’m very curious to see how the area will change again. Today, circumnavigating these spaces every day to get here, I realize that there are urban “holes”, a territory to be mended; it is as if a huge moat closed the center. There is the idea of ​​the polycentric city but the Milanese still have the “circle of canals” syndrome. The experience we have had over the years tells us that urban regeneration is done with inclusion and high quality projects. This neighborhood has changed a lot since we have been here, that is, since 2015. We used to go out late in the evening, around here we had dealing and prostitution, and I was also afraid. Today there is Symbiosis in piazza Olivetti and the real estate agencies are talking about South of Prada “.
It makes one think of Tribeca, a very snobbish New York neighborhood. You are too …
“If snobbish means doing things well then we are and happily. We have chosen to do difficult but not exclusive things, indeed we want to talk to everyone about topics that may still be considered unapproachable. For example our neuroscience project. Next year during the Biennale of art in Venice we will present an exhibition on the brain without works of art. Fear of being misunderstood? Yes, but we have a responsibility and we want to be a place of thought “.
Other projects?
“Let’s start again from music and from the important collaboration with Riccardo Muti from 4 to 15 December. From 31 March to 22 August we will have Useless Bodies, an exhibition by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset with loans from international museums. Also in this case we will investigate the condition of the body. in relation to the social and cultural changes of the present. And again, Role Play, a photographic exhibition curated by Melissa Harris, from 17 February to 27 June 2022, at the Fondazione Prada Observatory in the Galleria in Milan “.
All paid initiatives.
“We have the Children’s Academy, a beautiful space that we have reopened, above the Barl Luce, which is free. And we have made every effort to keep the admission ticket free up to 18 years”.
With the exhibition on Gnoli you have had a blockbuster result … with over 4 thousand people in the weekend alone.
“An interesting case. An unwanted effect because for us the contents come first and then the numbers. We have proposed a little-known author who
audience, especially the younger one, who is very curious, appreciated “.
Fondazione Prada and Hangar Bicocca, the big names in contemporary art in the city. Is there competition?
“No, we are also planning joint initiatives. And in the past Steve McQueen has had a great show with us.”
What do you think is missing in Milan?
“I would like to see the sectors mixed. I would like the Milanese artists to frequent the directors as well as the writers and scientists; a transversal exchange, where young people could be the protagonists. The Foundation can be a good breeding ground for stimulating this interdisciplinarity” .

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