The spirit of innovation and search for new creative lexicons characterizing the Prada Group also inspired the launch of international contests in collaboration with important companies and organizations working in the field of contemporary art and literature. Participants from all over the world took up the creative challenge and the best among them were able to display their talent in prestigious locations. The Prada Journal, launched in partnership with Luxottica and Feltrinelli Editore, just like the Curate Award created by Fondazione Prada and the Qatar Museum Authority, have led to fruitful explorations in search of creativity and quality.
In April 2013, Prada and Feltrinelli Editore launched a unique literary contest that was able to join the universe of fashion with that of literature. The aim of the contest was to find and promote unknown but talented writers capable of narrating the world from a new and original perspective, with the points of departure indicated on the website www.prada.com/journal:
Thousands of participants from all over the world took up the creative challenge and sent their manuscripts in over 30 languages. The metaphor of glasses became a tool for exploring the surrounding reality and redefining it in writing. In a world dominated by images, Prada wanted to stress the power of words.
“Illuminations, shadows and mirages. Things are not always what they seem” (2016)
Kei Matsushima (Japan), Billie Phillips (Australia), Flávio Vinicius Moreira Costa (Brazil) and Maria Laura Rodriguez (Argentina) are the winners of the third edition of Prada Journal –Prada Feltrinelli Prize selected by the jury composed by Carlo Feltrinelli, A.M. Homes, Craig Mod and Oscar-winning film director Gabriele Salvatores.
At its third edition, Prada Journal evolves into a three-dimensional literary experience, where the written word becomes spoken word.
The American scriptwriter Christopher Ciancimino has transposed selected passages of the winners stories into digital representations. As in a modern “Theater of conversation and exchange” the viewer can take a 360o immersive stroll, moving around the scene, explore the setting and change their own point of view during any interpretation. Viewers thus become an active part, by participating in the creation of a unique perspective of each performance.
Further details at the link http://www.prada.com/journal2016/index-en.html#/experience/
Kei Matsushima, Japan
Conversation with shadows
“Cheers, the shadow said. Her shadow. The shadow sat shallowly and picked up a glass. She, herself, was still asleep.”
Billie Phillips, Australia
No balm in Gilead
“He’d left the boy in bed, sleeping peacefully, tucked beneath the stairs, while a war blows in with the draft. Swinging gun in hand, Baba shrugs on his Wolf coat and slinks out the door and into the misery.”
Flávio Vinicius Moreira Costa, Brazil
“Invisible like any epidemic at the beginning, the story was quickly known by everyone in less than a week. It wasn’t a denouncement, but it did do away with the official report. Everybody knew that Lieutenant Marcus didn’t need to be convinced.”
Maria Laura Rodriguez, Argentina
The hour of the wolf
“Completely in the dark, she stays looking through the window at the night. She would like to be somewhere else, anywhere else, in another place, another time.”
“What are the signs of a changing world? And which reality is it possible to guess? Looking at details more carefully might give us the answer” (2014)
The winners of the 2014 edition were Viola Bellini (Italy), Miguel Ferrando (Spain) and Anabel Graff (U.S.A.) with a special mention to Alejandro Morellón (Spain). The participating manuscripts were examined by a panel of prestigious international publishers: Tishani Doshi, Carlo Feltrinelli, Paolo Giordano and Colum McCann. The second edition of the contest remained true to the spirit of innovation and inquiry typical of Prada, Feltrinelli and Luxottica. However, the research extended to anything that could be imagined and to all the ideas that could be written down once they have assumed a clear shape and content. In the Milanese venue of Prada, during the night presented by Dane DeHaan, the winners’ stories were read by Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller and Filippo Timi.
Viola Bellimi, Italia
Theory and practice of pears
“First of all, how to pick a pear. In the last few days I have walked around with a big yellow Abate pear in my bag, and asked a few people to pretend to pick it…”
Miguel Ferrando, Spagna
The well of san Hipólito (El pozo de san Hipólito)
“Before the water and the deaths, it had all been stones and contorted vines, fig trees, a line of almond trees lining the path, the gully and a carob tree like a cathedral sheltering the humble farmhouse by its side…”
Anabel Graff, USA
The prom at the end of the world
“The news hit the wire that the world was going to end on May 29th. A report had been released detailing the particulars: an irregular shaped planetoid approximately the size of New York City had begun a fated trajectory towards the earth…”
“What realities do our eyes catch? And how are such realities filtered by our glasses?”(2013)
On the occasion of the award ceremony in 2013, the Prada Broadway Epicentre in New York became a modern “theatre of conversation and exchange” inspired by the classical literary salon to experience live storytelling as a 3D editorial experience. This was the setting to announce the winners of the first edition: Mattia Conti (Italy), Leisl Egan (Australia), Angel Mario Fernández (Argentina), Sarah Harris Wallman (U.S.A.) and Peng Yang (China) who were awarded prizes and the publication of an e-book downloadable from the website.
Angel Mario Fernández, Argentina
Juan se fue a las estrellas
“When you are six years old there are many things you don’t understand, but when I straightened my glasses on my nose and asked Mamá about my brother Juan, she stroked my face and said…”
Sarah Harris Wallman, USA
One Car Hooks Into the Next and Pulls
“The train ran between two rival cities. It was designed for efficiency, not love.”
Peng Yang, China
Gray Story (Hui gushi)
“One year, in the middle of summer, two strange events took place in Qizhuang: a strange rain fell and a strange person arrived.”
Mattia Conti , Italy
Gli occhi di Malrico
“There were always four of them. When Lorella came walking by, they’d hold their breath, waiting for the wind to lift her skirt.”
Leisl Egan, Australia
“Moptop sat at the bar in the darkened cafe and stared into the last dregs of froth in his ale. Wearily he rubbed a liver-spotted hand over his oily, wrinkly face.”
Curate is an international contest promoted by Qatar Museums Authority and Fondazione Prada in 2013 to find new talents in the curatorial sector. The award opened new horizons and challenged the current concept of exhibition by offering the winners the extraordinary opportunity to become curators of the exhibitions they had always dreamt of.
The winning projects, announced on 6th August 2014, were:
Extinct in the Wild, Michael Wang, USA
The project emphasizes the crucial role of human beings in the existence and preservation of some species of flora and fauna that would otherwise be extinct or are unable to grow and develop outside an artificial environment.
Mutterzunge, Misal Adnan Yıldız, Turkey
The project focuses on a statue situated in the public park of Karaman, a small town in Anatolia, representing a local hero who fought against the Ottoman invasion of the thirteenth century. The monument is a sort of ‘performing installation’ that interacts with the lives of people who spend their time in the park and are able to remember the political situation of Turkey in the 80s, at the time of its transition to democracy.
The Border, Evelyn Simons, Belgium
This exhibition project is divided in spaces representing the various steps that a migrant must go through when moving to the “promised land”.