ART-SCHOOLER SEES: Elmgreen & Dragset

As you may have gathered from the title, I am currently an Art-schooler and I enjoyed it in all of its pretentious glory. One great thing is that I spend most days reading about, and seeing all the strange, the weird and the wonderful of what people can create. Now surely I can’t be the only person interested in the crazy shit people are coming up with, so I have decided to start documenting some of my favourite images I am exposed to; starting off with ‘Prada Marfa’ by ELMGREEN & DRAGSET.

Situated just off the U.S. Route 90, and 2.3 km northwest of Valentine, Texas, ‘Prada Marfa‘ is a permanent sculptural installation by artists Elmgreen and Dragset.

Basically what this work is, is a fully equipped Prada store out in the middle of nowhere. All the merchandise inside the store is genuine, and was a part of the fall/winter 2005 collection, provided by Miuccia Prada herself. We are presented with what appears to be a real Prada store, real bricks, real sign, real products. However, you are not actually permitted to enter the store and make a transaction. The doors are not open to you or anyone, it is so unpenetratable that it is even protected by bullet-proof glass.

Now while this work deals with complex and sophisticated issues and fears relating to globalisation, the corporatisation of space, consumerism and the fears of cultural convergence prevalent throughout the growth of the conglomerate, what I actually found most interesting was people’s reactions. More specifically, the Texas reaction….

With a Shotgun!

While an idea of the work was for it to decay naturally like some sunburn hut you would likely see along the Route 90, the locals have actually taken to speeding up the decay through vandalism and gun shots. Whether that be to get their hands on some Prada bag, or just to destroy to destroy, I guess that is for ourselves to decide.

Here are some more images of the place, in its glory.

Elmgreen & Dragset
Prada Marfa, 2005
4.6 m × 7.6 m (15 ft × 25 ft)
Location: US 90, Valentine, Texas

Words by Luke Letourneau