Prada presents the third iteration of Prada Mode, a travelling 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 as well as the Black Cinema House Film Programme, curated by filmmaker Ava DuVerney; 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.