“Our bodies are no longer the main agents of our existence. They don’t generate value in our societies’ advanced production methods as they did in the industrial era. One could claim our physical selves have even become more of an obstacle than an advantage. In the 19th century, the body was the producer of daily goods, whereas, in the 20th century, the body’s role became more that of the consumer. Twenty years into the 21st century the status of the body is now that of the product – with our data gathered and sold by Big Tech”, (Michael) Elmgreen & (Ingar) Dragset.
Spanning more than 3,000 square meters, “Useless Bodies?” is conceived for four gallery spaces and the courtyard of the Milan venue. The exhibition explores the present condition of the body in the post-industrial age in which it seems that our physical presence is losing its centrality or is even completely superfluous. This shift impacts every aspect of our lives: from our working conditions to our health, our interpersonal relationships, and the way we retain information. The exhibition also explores how we physically adapt to a world increasingly based on two-dimensional imagery, not least in the light of the current pandemic.
From the Podium, to the Nord gallery, to the Cisterna, the audience will encounter several immersive installations, as the premises of Fondazione Prada are transformed into a series of different universes, each with its own atmosphere, theme, and aesthetic.
Fondazione Prada, Milano, until 22 August 2022
Photo: Andrea Rossetti, courtesy of Fondazione Prada