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Prada Marfa
March 7, 2006 2:22 PM   Subscribe

'The work is located on the outskirts of Valentine, Texas near Marfa on desolate ranching land with no other visible trace of civilization. As one drives toward the artwork it will appear to be a large minimalist sculpture, as one gets closer it will look like a luxury boutique where a display of Fall 2005 high-heel Prada shoes and bags will be seen through the store front windows. Yet, one cannot open the door, it is a sealed time capsule and will never function as a place of commerce.'
posted by driveler (27 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Poor Donald Judd. (This is cool!)
posted by bardic at 2:32 PM on March 7, 2006


Playing mind games with future archaelogists? I bet whoever built Stonehenge had a good laugh, too.
posted by ducksauce at 2:40 PM on March 7, 2006


I like it. It would be cooler if you could buu these...at Prada.
posted by everichon at 2:40 PM on March 7, 2006


buy, consarn it!
posted by everichon at 2:40 PM on March 7, 2006


I don't understand art . . .
unless it's supposed to be funny. In which case:
I get it! This is great!
posted by JeffK at 2:41 PM on March 7, 2006


Also, I predict vandalism, Texas-style. Whatever the hell that may mean.
posted by everichon at 2:52 PM on March 7, 2006


Elmgreen and Dragset aren't all fun and games: they're also designing Berlin's new memorial for gay victims of the Holocaust.
posted by j.s.f. at 2:53 PM on March 7, 2006


Well aren't they clever. I mean I actually like art, but this is pretty pretentious, but then it involves Prada, so maybe that's part of the point?

Commercialism sucks. Can I have a gold star please?
posted by public at 3:12 PM on March 7, 2006


It took 3 days before the vandals got to it? If they'd only held off for another day or two, I'm sure a Starbucks would've appeared next door.
posted by maryh at 3:30 PM on March 7, 2006


A Starbucks where you would never be able to buy coffee.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:31 PM on March 7, 2006


In many ways, that would be the ideal Starbucks.
posted by maryh at 3:35 PM on March 7, 2006


Actually, the store sat right where it was intended to sit. But it didn't last long in its unlikely environs. Just two days after the opening, someone broke in. The front door was smashed, and all the shoes and handbags inside vanished. In their place, two spray-painted messages appeared on the store's exterior: "Dum Dum" and "Dumb."
posted by smackfu at 3:35 PM on March 7, 2006


(That's from the Houston Press article.)
posted by smackfu at 3:36 PM on March 7, 2006


A shrine to ovepriced junk ? I guess Andy would approve ?
posted by elpapacito at 3:42 PM on March 7, 2006


I've been to Marfa. (Pre-Prada) Judd's work is pretty amazing (and of course, the trip is a big part of the fun). Judd had installed work by other artists while he was alive, so its not just his own work off in the desert. There are other artists and work around.

One thing that is pretty amazing is the number of people who make really long trips to get there. During the time I was there I met people from South America, Japan, Germany and France. (Plus one of Judd's buildings housed German prisioners during WW2 - he left German signs on the inside wall .)

Its funny, the group of people I was with were artists from NYC or L.A. but the grocery person said, "Oh, I figured you were German."

As for the Prada store piece - it at least sounds a little semi maybe interesting/funny - I guess. ( BTW from what I have been told, it already has been vandalized )
posted by R. Mutt at 3:52 PM on March 7, 2006


That place is so gonna get robbed.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:03 PM on March 7, 2006


Here's what I told the Guerilla Girls to do--don't vandalize the place, but use glass cutters to sneak in. Take all the Prada and replace them with items from this catalogue. Leave the premises, seal glass.
2)???
3) Profit!
posted by bardic at 4:03 PM on March 7, 2006


bardic mmmmh brand contamination is schweet ! Except the guerrila girl site, Feminist and Posch ! Yeeeeeahh it's Coulters wet dream.
posted by elpapacito at 4:35 PM on March 7, 2006


awesome. and a great 'gallery' to boot. these guys would dig this.
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 4:42 PM on March 7, 2006


And while you're out there in the middle of nowhere, take a massive detour and go see Walter De Maria's Lightning Field. Here it is in action.

Oh, and can I come?
posted by The Bellman at 5:24 PM on March 7, 2006


If you go, make sure you dont miss the Marfa blimp (you can see it from the road while driving past at 90+ MPH ). It is also known as The Tethered Aerostat Radar System . (scroll to the bottom for photos).
posted by R. Mutt at 5:36 PM on March 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


I dunno. I don't understand conceptual art unless it has a urine-soaked Jesus in it somewhere. But maybe I'm just a philistine.
posted by Decani at 5:46 PM on March 7, 2006


FWIW, this is obviously supposed to be funny. Yes, there are comments about commercialism inherent in the joke, but that doesn't mean it wasn't intended to provoke laughter.

Indeed, part of what is funny about it is that opening a high class shoe store out in the middle of nowhere would be kind of dumb. The vandals spraying "dumb" on it, whether they knew it or not, were basically bringing humorous subtext to the surface.

Of course, one could argue that any joke you have to explain isn't all that funny to begin with. Humor assumes a shared language or experience between the teller and the listener. I notice with my lower level high school students that anything they don't get is automatically "dumb" (or, more often "gay"). It takes a smart person to realize that their inability to immediatly understand something is not evidence of that thing being stupid.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:49 PM on March 7, 2006


Humor assumes a shared language or experience between the teller and the listener.

That is exactly why I would consider this an inside the artworld piece/joke. I think it is mainly aimed at a fairly narrow (though internationally distributed) audience of people involved with contemporary art.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:05 PM on March 7, 2006


That is exactly why I would consider this an inside the artworld piece/joke. I think it is mainly aimed at a fairly narrow (though internationally distributed) audience of people involved with contemporary art.

well, i'm not involved with contemporary art at all but i do think this is funny. although my tastes in 'aurght' tend towards the absurd, the subversive, the sublime and this is just so utterly ridiculous!
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 6:14 PM on March 7, 2006


FWIW, Judd and Marfa represent something like the "last stand" of minimalism, which kind of grows out of the formalist ideal--the pure objet d'art, recognized as such, stripped of all that messy context and history stuff.

The Prada thing is all the funnier for being a Koons-like, Richard Price-like stunt--purely an idea based on context (economic and social) and lacking any redeeming value of art qua an art object (anyone can buy a pair of shoes if they have the money).

And I think this makes it incredibly funny, if not brilliant. And what Joey Michaels said--the vandalism is part of the point. How could it not be?
posted by bardic at 6:35 PM on March 7, 2006


Joey, I disagree: what Elmgreen and Dragset are suggesting is less that a Prada Marfa wouldn't sell anything but rather that art tourists from the coast would probably buy the place out. Indeed, as John Waters' brutally hilarious print (recently on the cover of Artforum) makes clear, Marfa has lost its status as a pilgrimage site for worshippers of minimalism and become one more stop on a circuit of destinations for a certain sub-class of art types: Basel, Venice, Miami, Kassel.
posted by j.s.f. at 7:30 AM on March 8, 2006


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