Cere anatomiche, Florence's La Specola comes to Fondazione Prada
Thirteen ceroplastics from the Florentine museum's prestigious collection on display in Milan until July 17
"An art exhibition, a lesson in anatomy, a video on desire and an operation of didactic experimentation with which we intend to tell the value of a collection and its history," it is with these words that Miuccia Prada presents the exhibition Cere anatomiche: La Specola di Firenze | David Cronenberg visible from March 24 to July 17 at the Fondazione Prada in Milan.
The project, conceived in collaboration with La Specola, part of the Museum of Natural History and the University of Florence's Sistema Museale di Ateneo, and Canadian film director and screenwriter David Cronenberg, brings thirteen 18th-century wax models from the Florentine museum's prestigious collection to Milan, focusing on female anatomical models and how women's bodies were represented for scientific purposes.
The exhibition consists of two parts: the exhibition and an unreleased short film, made by David Cronenberg in the Specola spaces. In this film, titled Four Unloved Women, Adrift on a Purposeless Sea, Experience the Ecstasy of Dissection, the director uses state-of-the-art digital editing techniques to introduce four of the exhibits into an alternate dimension. Cronenberg's new work explores recurring elements and themes in his creative vision, particularly his fascination with the human body and its possible mutations and contaminations.
Cere anatomiche presents four reclining female figures, three from the Lymphatic System section and one from the Obstetrics section, nine detailed waxes depicting gestation, also from the Obstetrics section and made in the Enlightenment period for didactic purposes, and a series of seventy-two display copies of anatomical drawings collected in nine showcases. The Milan exhibition includes one of the most important works in La Specola Museum's collection, the so-called Venus, a rare model with decomposable parts known for its beauty.
David Cronenberg's short film offers an alternative look at the four female figures by freeing them from their academic function as a medical and educational tool.