Theaster Gates, Entrance to Sanctum © Theaster Gates
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.
PRADA MODE LONDON A two-day intervention 2 & 3 October 2019 180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA
BLACK IMAGE CORPORATION 4 – 27 October 2019 180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA
COLLECTIVE INTIMACY 180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA October 4, 5, 12, 19 and 26
THE SHOWROOM 63 Penfold St, Marylebone, London NW8 8PQ October 10, 24, November 7, 21, and December 5
About Prada Mode
Prada Mode is a travelling private club that provides members a unique experience with a focus on contemporary culture. Imagined as a place that augments and extends significant global cultural gatherings at diverse locations worldwide, Prada Mode offers guests exclusive access to unique programs and content that complement the themes and subjects of the host event. In advance of the event, Prada Mode members receive credentials and special invitations for all current and future occurrences of the club. The inaugural iteration, Prada Mode Miami, was held at Freehand Miami from December 4th to 6th, 2018, and served as both an exclusive destination and a discreet, elegant retreat from the daily clamour of high-intensity cultural engagements during Art Basel: Miami Beach. A site-specific intervention by artist Theaster Gates was present throughout the club imbued with the experience of music, retreat and archival practice. On the occasion of Art Basel: Hong Kong, Prada Mode Hong Kong took over the third floor of Barrack Block of Tai Kwun on March 27 and 28, 2019. Events included a special set up of the Prada Invites project and Dolls’ House, an installation by photographer Jamie Diamond, as well as conversations on actual themes.
About The artist
Theaster Gates lives and works in Chicago where he creates work that focuses on space theory and land development, sculpture and performance. In 2010, Gates created the Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit platform aimed at galvanizing communities through neighbourhood regeneration and the development of educational and arts programming and amenities. Many of the foundation’s initiatives have focused on the revitalization of Chicago’s South Side, creating hubs and archives for black culture, which serve as catalysts for discussions on race, equality, space, and history. Known for his recirculation of art-world capital, Gates creates works with a focus on the possibility of the “life within things.” Gates smartly upturns art values, land values, and human values. In all aspects of his work, he contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise – one defined by collective desire, artistic agency, and the tactics of a pragmatist. His current academic affiliations with the University of Chicago; the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; and Colby College, Waterville, Maine, aid the evolution of earlier vocational pursuits in public service, urban planning, and religious studies. Gates has exhibited and performed at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2019); Gropius Bau, Berlin (2019), Sprengel Museum Hannover (2018); Kunstmuseum Basel (2018); National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA (2017); Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (2016); Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2016, 2017); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013); Punta della Dogana, Venice (2013) and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012). Public collections include Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles. Gates was the winner of the Artes Mundi 6 prize and was a recipient of the Le?gion d’Honneur in 2017. He was recently awarded the Nasher Prize for Sculpture 2018, as well as the Urban Land Institute, J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. In 2019, Gates was selected for the Visions of the City – Obayashi Foundation Research Program in Japan.