The Intensity of Prada Marfa

It is a literal mirage. 

Lets discuss that building in Texas, that looks like a Prada store but everything inside is over ten years old and you can't go inside. I had never really looked into the backstory of this public installation, just glanced at it thinking it was a somewhat interesting concept, something that was regularly used as an Instagram backdrop - but the layers to this sculpture are fantastic.

The location of this building is the overreaching theme, it is in the middle of nowhere - miles and miles from the nearest town, with very spotty cell reception and nothing but tumbleweeds surrounding it. A mirage is something that is illusory, without substance or reality. This is that. People looking for a new lease on life, searching for better opportunities that don't have the opportunity to enter the United States legally, cross the border and have no option but to travel along this dessert plane. There is nothing in sight for sixty miles, it is unbearably hot and dry and dangerous, crawling with border control. Then something appears in the distance, something that isn't sand or dirt - this building, it is appealing and offers the possibility of water, food, momentary rest. It glimmers with opportunity and hope.

When they finally reach this building with the expectation of something, anything as a respite - it is a not even a building - it is a 15" by 25" box displaying overpriced designer handbags and shoes - cruelly exemplifying the gaudiness of consumerism, wealth and excess. There is nothing for sale, nothing to buy in this store - yet buying and selling is what the sculpture is all about, responding to the relevance of the fashion world and the current climate of a consumerist society that today is still perfectly relevant. This sly commentary driven representational public installation by Elmgreen & Dragset is sick and brilliant.

 I haven't visited this area in Texas - so here is photo from an article on Dazed.

I haven't visited this area in Texas - so here is photo from an article on Dazed.