video Flavio Pescatori | courtesy Fondazione Prada
The Museum System of the University of Florence collaborates with Fondazione Prada on the project
"Anatomical Waxes: La Specola di Firenze | David Cronenberg"
24 March - 17 July 2023, Fondazione Prada, Milan
“Anatomical Waxes” consists of two complementary parts. An exhibition brings together thirteen 18th-century ceroplastic works from the collections of ‘La Specola,’ focusing on female anatomical models and how women’s bodies were represented for scientific purposes. The exhibition is associated with an unprecedented short film by David Cronenberg in the spaces of ‘La Specola’ and dedicated to those same wax sculptures. It gives an account of the director’s fascination with the female human body as represented by the Florentine ceroplastic workshop.
David Cronenberg’s film offers unexpected interpretations and visions of cultural heritage by triggering a dialogue between a historical collection and a contemporary institution such as Fondazione Prada.
The scientific and artistic narratives take shape in two independent installations, which also focus on the aesthetic value of depicting the human body.
On the second floor of Podium, Fondazione Prada’s main exhibition space, ‘La Specola’s waxes are displayed following a strict museum approach.
On the ground floor, the works themselves access the director’s imagination by becoming the protagonists of a particular narrative.
On the occasion of this project, Fondazione Prada publishes an extensive illustrated volume designed by Irma Boom with two introductions by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, Presidents of Fondazione Prada, and Marco Benvenuti, President of the University of Florence Museum System, and a statement by David Cronenberg. And then, a series of contributions that, through various historical, academic and artistic perspectives, explore the extraordinary legacy and notoriety of the ‘La Specola’ museum collection and investigate David Cronenberg’s vision in relation to the body to emphasize the importance of scientific research and its connection to creative practice.
The anatomical waxes in the pages of the collections