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Miuccia Prada heads the Foundation

Fondazione Prada Milano – Foto Delfino Sisto Legnani

MIUCCIA PRADA FORMALIZES HER ROLE AS FONDAZIONE PRADA’S DIRECTOR AND ESTABLISHES A STEERING COMMITTEE

Milan, 18 September 2023 – Fondazione Prada, a cultural institution created in 1993 by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, operates in the belief that art and study are useful and necessary to understand the changes unfolding in the world through new and engaging perspectives. Miuccia Prada has formalized her role as Fondazione Prada’s Director and confirmed her personal commitment to present and future projects, as she has done in the last three decades.

As Miuccia Prada stated, “Right from the start, through the Fondazione’s activities I aspired to investigate human culture in all its variety and complexity. Over these thirty years, I have wondered in different ways how artistic and intellectual research can impact people’s lives. Searching for increasingly topical answers to this question is the fundamental objective I have set myself with the foundation.”

A Steering Committee, which will work in close contact with the President and Director Miuccia Prada, the General Manager Cristian Valsecchi, the Head of Programs Chiara Costa, and the Fondazione’s internal team, will be integrated into the institution’s organization to explore in depth the most important topics of our times, and to investigate up-and-coming questions regarding our future.

The Steering Committee is comprised of an academic, a scientist, an artist, a filmmaker, and a scholar: Giuliana Bruno, Emmet Blakeney Gleason Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University; Giancarlo Comi, Honorary Professor of Neurology at the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan; Theaster Gates, artist, activist, and Professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts; Alejandro González Iñárritu, film director, screenwriter, and film producer; Salvatore Settis, archaeologist, art historian, and Professor Emeritus at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa.

The Steering Committee’s main functions are to identify the most stimulating research areas to develop multidisciplinary projects that can impact the contemporary cultural debate and indicate possible lines for experimentation and education. Each committee member will contribute to an intense theoretical discussion based on their individual expertise and background: from education and visual studies (Giuliana Bruno) to neuroscience (Giancarlo Comi), and from social practices (Theaster Gates) to cinema and visual languages (Alejandro González Iñárritu) and dialogues between cultures (Salvatore Settis).

It is through ongoing exchanges between people from different fields of knowledge and art that Fondazione Prada aims to experiment with new cultural practices and assert itself as a continually evolving platform for sharing knowledge and advancing creative research. Fondazione Prada is steadily evolving into a laboratory of ideas, where the coexistence of  disciplines and languages generates unpredictable resonances and cultural intersections and contributes to expanding the range of knowledge.

A vast network of collaboration with artists, curators, scientists, scholars, filmmakers, architects, musicians, and intellectuals, and an extensive program —organized in the three venues in Milan and Venice, which opened between 2011 and 2016, as well as in Shanghai, Tokyo, and New York since 2018— allow to establish a dialogue with an international and plural audience. The focus is on experimenting with innovative learning methods and moments of debate free from interpretive hierarchies. Fondazione Prada wants to encourage more active and inclusive dynamics of participation that embrace a multiplicity of identities, sensibilities, and paradigms raised by communities and individuals. Particular attention is paid to the young and their development, which translates into a series of projects aimed at children and students, as well as educational and exhibition activities developed with schools, universities, and research centers around the world in the humanities, sciences, and visual arts.

Miuccia Prada. Photo Brigitte Lacombe

Miuccia Prada

Miuccia Prada is President and Director of Fondazione Prada, Executive Director of Prada Group, Co-Creative Director of Prada with Raf Simons, and Creative Director of Miu Miu. After her degree in Political Science at Milan University, she began designing collections for the company founded by her grandfather, Mario Prada, in 1913. In the late 1970s, she went into partnership with the businessman Patrizio Bertelli and turned Prada into one of the leading luxury goods companies globally. She has received many recognitions for the originality of her vision, her capacity for innovation, and the contribution she has made to international fashion. In 2000, she received an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in London. In 2006 she was made an Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2012, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York dedicated the exhibition “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” to her and Elsa Schiaparelli. In 2015 she was appointed as a Cavaliere di Gran Croce, the Republic of Italy’s highest honor, in recognition of her international success and contribution to the fields of creativity, fashion, and style. For her dedication to the arts and culture through Fondazione Prada, she has received honors from the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (2000), and, at the fifth “Gala in the Garden” (2007), from the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. She has received the McKim Award from the American Academy in Rome (2010), the Leo Award from the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of British Columbia in Vancouver (2013), and the Agnes Gund Curatorial Award from Independent Curators International (ICI) in New York (2013).

Giuliana Bruno

Giuliana Bruno

Giuliana Bruno lives and works in New York. She is Emmet Blakeney Gleason Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. She is known internationally for her research on the intersections between the visual arts, architecture, and media. Her book Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film (2002, new edition 2017) was awarded the Kraszna-Krausz Prize for best Moving Image Book and engendered the philosophical theory of emotional geography. She has authored several other volumes, including the award-winning Streetwalking on a Ruined Map: Cultural Theory and the City Films of Elvira Notari (1993), Public Intimacy: Architecture and the Visual Arts (2007), and Surface: Matters of Aesthetics, Materiality, and Media (2014). Her essays on contemporary art are published in volumes edited, among others, by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Museo Reina Sofía and, in Italy, by the Fondazione Prada, the Venice Biennale, and the MAXXI. Her most recent book is Atmospheres of Projection: Environmentality in Art and Screen Media (2022). Her writings are translated into twelve languages. She has been the Louis Kahn Scholar Residence in the History of Art at the American Academy in Rome. She has lectured internationally at prestigious universities, academies such as the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and museums including the Tate Modern, the Centre Pompidou, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, the Dia Center for the Arts in New York, MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, and the Louvre. In 2017, the Museo Madre and the Museo di Capodimonte invited her to co-curate the exhibition “Carta bianca. Capodimonte Imaginaire”. For her contributions to interdisciplinary research and visual culture, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.

Giancarlo Comi. Photo Claudia Ferri-

Giancarlo Comi

Giancarlo Comi is Honorary Professor of Neurology at the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele and President of the scientific committee of “Human Brains,” the multidisciplinary neuroscience project founded by Fondazione Prada in 2018. He is founder and director from 2004 to 2020 of the Institute of Experimental Neurology at the IRCCS San Raffaele in Milan. From 2013 he is the President of the European Charcot Foundation, the world’s leading foundation operating in the field of Multiple Sclerosis and related diseases. From 2012 to 2021, he co-chaired the Steering Committee of the Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Alliance and its Industry Forum, an organization that brings together the major pharmaceutical and technology companies interested in Multiple Sclerosis. During his career, he has been president of various national neurological, clinical neurophysiological, and psychophysiological societies, as well as of the European Neurological Society. He is an honorary member of the French Neurological Society, the Romanian Society of Neurology, the Russian Neurological Academic Society, the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN), the Bulgarian Society of Neurology and the BCTRIMS, Brazilian Congress of Multiple Sclerosis. He has received multiple awards, such as the Marinescu Honorary Award given by the Romanian Society of Neurology and the Charcot Award for MS research from the MS International Federation (MSIF). In 2016 he received the Gold Medal of Benemeranza Civica from the City of Milan, in 2018 he was appointed Officer of the Italian Republic and in 2021 he was made Commander of the Italian Republic for his scientific merit. He has been the Principal Investigator in numerous phase II and III neurological clinical trials, mainly in the field of multiple sclerosis. He is the author of more than 1000 scientific articles, with an h- index of 132, published in the most renowned international journals; he is also an editor of scientific books. He has organized and been a lecturer at more than 600 scientific conferences. He is co-editor of the review Neurological Sciences and a member of the editorial boards of leading scientific journals.

Theaster Gates. Photo Sarah Poole

Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates is an artist and social innovator who lives and works in Chicago. Over the past decade, Gates has translated the intricacies of Blackness through space theory and land development, sculpture, and performance. Through the expansiveness of his approach as a thinker, maker, and builder, he extends the role of the artist as an agent of change. His performance practice and visual work find roots in Black knowledge, objects, history, and archives. Gates has exhibited and performed at The New Museum, New York, US (2022); The Aichi Triennial, Tokoname, Japan (2022); The Serpentine Pavilion, London, UK (2022); The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (2021); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2013 and 2021); Tate Liverpool, UK (2020); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2020); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2019); Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (2018); Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2018); National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., US (2017); Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (2016); Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2016 – 2018); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2016); Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy (2013); and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012). In 2010, Gates created the Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation that supports artists and strengthens communities through free arts programming and innovative cultural amenities in the Grand Crossing neighborhood of the South Side of Chicago. Gates is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees including the Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts (2022); an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects (2021); the World Economic Forum Crystal Award (2020); J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development (2018); Nasher Sculpture Prize (2018); Sprengel Museum Kurt Schwitters Prize (2017); and Artes Mundi 6 Prize (2015). In April 2018, Gates was appointed as the inaugural Distinguished Visiting Artist and Director of Artist Initiatives at the Lunder Institute for American Art, Colby College, Waterville Maine. He was the Visiting Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome (2020); and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2021. Gates is a Professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts and serves as the Special Advisor to the President for Arts Initiatives.

Alejandro G. Inarritu. Photo Ugo Dalla Porta

Alejandro González Iñárritu

Alejandro González Iñárritu is a film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is known for making modern psychological drama films about the human condition. His debut as director was made in 1999 with Amores Perros, a mutli linear structured film that achieved considerable success and received the Semaine de la critique award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. In 2002, along several other world directors, he made one of the short films of the feature 11’09’’01 – September 11. 21 Grams in 2003 pushed further the time narrative exploration getting Sean Penn best actor in the Venice film festival. In 2006 he produced and directed Babel concluding his trilogy, which won him the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival, and 7 Academy Award Nominations including Best Director. In 2010 he wrote and directed Biutiful which got his second foreign language film nomination at the Oscars. In 2014 he was the director, screenwriter, and producer of Birdman, which in 2015 won the Oscars® for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. In 2015, he wrote, directed, and produced The Revenant, which won the Oscars® for Best Director, becoming the third film director winning this award back to back. In 2017, he created “CARNE y ARENA,” a virtual reality installation produced by Legendary Entertainment and Fondazione Prada, which was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the official selection and being the first Virtual Reality project to ever being featured in the festival. Immediately after was presented at the Fondazione’s premises in Milan, followed by other cities around the world. “CARNE y ARENA” received a special Oscar® from the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which described the multimedia installation conceived by Alejandro G. Iñárritu as “a deeply emotional and physically involving journey into the world of migrants.” In 2019 Iñárritu was president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2022 he wrote, directed, and produced his 7th feature Bardo or False Chronicles of a handful of Truths.

Salvatore Settis

Salvatore Settis

Salvatore Settis is Professor Emeritus at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. He was Director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles (1994–1999) and the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (1999–2010), and chaired the Scientific Council of the Louvre (2010–2023). He was President of the Higher Council for Cultural Heritage (2007–2009) and a founding member of the European Research Council (2005–2011). He has been the Warburg Professor in Hamburg, given the Isaiah Berlin Lectures in Oxford and the Mellon Lectures in Washington, D.C., and he has held the Cátedra del Prado in Madrid and the Borromini Chair in Mendrisio. He has written the following books on the history of ancient art: Saggio sull’Afrodite Urania di Fidia, 1966; La Colonna Traiana, 1988; Laocoonte. Fama e stile,1999; La Villa di Livia e la pittura di giardino, 2002. And these on post-ancient art: La «Tempesta» interpretata. Giorgione, i committenti, il soggetto, 1978; Iconografia dell’arte italiana, 1100- 1500, 2005; Artisti e committenti tra Quattro e Cinquecento, 2010. On cultural issues generally: Italia S.p.A. L’assalto al patrimonio culturale, 2002; Futuro del “classico”, 2004; Battaglie senza eroi. I beni culturali fra istituzioni e profitto, 2005; Paesaggio Costituzione cemento. La battaglia per l’ambiente contro il degrado civile, 2010; Azione popolare. Cittadini per il bene comune, 2012; Se Venezia muore, 2014; Costituzione! Perché attuarla è meglio che cambiarla, 2016; Architettura e democrazia. Paesaggio, città, diritti civili, 2017; Cieli d’Europa. Cultura, creatività, uguaglianza, 2017. He has curated Memoria dell’Antico nell’arte italiana, 1984–86; I Greci. Storia, arte, cultura, società, 1995–2002; and is director of the series Mirabilia Italiae. His written works have been translated into 16 languages. He is also a member of the Accademia dei Lincei as well as of the academies of France, Berlin, Bavaria, and Belgium, of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has curated numerous exhibitions, including the most recent “Serial Classic” (2015), “Portable Classic” (2015) and “Recycling Beauty” (2022) at Fondazione Prada in Milan and Venice; and “I Marmi Torlonia. Collezionare Capolavori” at the Musei Capitolini in Rome (2020) and at Gallerie d’Italia in Milan (2022).