The Fondazione Prada will present the exhibition “Jeu de role” in Milan

The Fondazione Prada will present the exhibition “Role Play” from February 19 to June 27, 2022 at the Osservatorio in Milan. Curated by Melissa Harris, the exhibition explores the processes of researching, projecting and inventing possible alternative identities. Alternate identities that are said to be part of an individual’s personality include their authentic, idealized, and universal self.

This project will be presented by 11 international image-based artists through photographic, video and performance works. The participating artists are Meriem Bennani, Juno Calypso, Cao Fei, Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, Beatrice Marchi, Darius Mikšys, Narcissister, Haruka Sakaguchi & Griselda San Martin, Tomoko Sawada, Bogosi Sekhukhuni and Amalia Ulman. Their creations will be presented in the form of a light installation designed by the creative agency Random Studio.

Image credit: Juno Calypso’ A clone of yours’2017. (Courtesy of Juno Calypso and TJ Boulting)

Due to its objective nature and its ability to capture different genres (portraiture, self-portraiture and reportage) and alternative approaches – from storytelling to conceptual research – photography is an ideal way to show authentic self-reflection. In recent times, the multi-purpose medium has been adopted in online social platforms and communities and in other role-playing contexts such as virtual avatars in the metaverse. This further intensifies the need to explore our identities or alternative identities.

Even Melissa Harris has pointed to this relevance: “Since the turn of the 20th century, projects involving role-playing games have considered identity more, freeing artists from gender and time travel and imagining themselves in multiple ways, reflecting in turn their very identity. ness-even when this is in flux. An alter ego, character, or avatar can be an aspiration; it can be linked to his personal and cultural history and his sense of otherness; it can be a form of activism, or a way to maneuver through entrenched, even polarized positions, towards empathy: putting yourself in the other’s shoes.

Image Credit: Cao Fei Cosplayers2004. (Image courtesy of Cao Fei, Vitamin Creative Space and Sprüth Magers)

An illustrated publication from the Quaderni series, which covers a text imagined by Rrose Sélavy (Melissa Harris) and visual and written contributions from all the artists involved in “Role Play”, will complete this project.

Interestingly, a second Prada exhibition, which is advertised as the “alter-ego” of “Role Play”, will be held at Prada Aoyama Tokyo from March 11 to June 20, 2022. This exhibition is also supported by Fondazione Prada and will have The works of Juno Calypso, Beatrice Marchi, Haruka Sakaguchi and Griselda San Martin, Tomoko Sawada and Bogosi Sekhukhuni on display.

(Hero and featured image: courtesy of Beatrice Marchi and Sandy Brown, Berlin)

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