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 a global competition to find new curating talent launched in May 2013. Curate opened up and challenged people’s ideas of what an exhibition can be, providing winners with the unprecedented opportunity to curate their own exhibition, the exhibition of their dreams.
Three projects were selected among many proposals from 63 countries in August 2014. The winners of competition were Evelyn Simons, Adnan Yldiz and Michael Wang. Two of three projects have already been realized.
The exhibition “Extinct in the Wild”, curated by Michael Wang, took place at Fondazione Prada in Milan from 9 February to 9 April 2017. The project brought together flora and fauna that are no longer found in nature, but persist exclusively under human care, within an artificial habitat. Labelled with the officially designated term “extinct in the wild”, these species have left nature behind to fully enter the circuits of human culture. The exhibition was completed by a series of 20 photographs, taken by Michael Wang from 2014 to the present day, which portray different extinct in the wild species and the original habitats where they lived prior to their extinction in nature.
“Driftwood, or how we surfaced through currents” is an exhibition curated by Evelyn Simons, on view from 17 June to 22 July 2017. Conceived as a walk through the streets of the Exarcheia neighborhood in Athens, it takes place in 11 different venues: shops, cafés, garages and outdoor spaces, among others. The project explores the movement of people, the circulation of capital, and how these endless flows of motion are organized, systematized, controlled and contested. Artists from different backgrounds and employing a plurality of media (installation, billboard, graffiti, sculpture and video) tackle these issues in a series of site-specific presentations.
The third winning project “Mutterzunge”, to be unveiled in Berlin in Autumn 2017, is conceived by Adnan Yldiz. It will be developed in the form of a public discussion, event and performance program in the frame of ASA (Autonomous Space Agency), an organizational structure created to provide resources for artists, curators and writers who work in the field of contemporary art.