Louise Bourgeois, Cell (Clothes), 1996
Robert Gober – Louise Bourgeois at Fondazione Prada. Milano
Like the whole Fondazione Prada site, the Haunted House is part of a former distillery complex dating back to the 1910s. Without transforming the original volumes, the architecture project has preserved and enhanced the building by reinforcing the structure and gilding its external surface. Big windows highlight a strong relation with the external urban landscape and the adjacent buildings, but at the same time the sequence of single rooms preserves an intimate spatial scale. The secluded environments of the Haunted House host a permanent installation conceived by Robert Gober (1954) and two works by Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010).
Robert Gober, Untitled (l’ancora), 2009-2010
On the higher floors of the building, Gober, whose work explores sexuality, relationships, nature, politics, and religion, combines historical art works such as ‘Untitled’ (1993–1994), an oversize Farina box on display on the second floor, with new ones such as ‘Original Model for Top Floor of the Haunted House’ (2014). By using everyday elements the artist creates hybrid objects: ’Arms and Legs Wallpaper’ (1995–2015) refers to a recurring pattern within the artist’s practice, while portions of architecture— such as ‘Corner Doors and Doorframe’ (2014–2015) or the bronze drain ‘Untitled’ (2014–2015)—are here dislocated and therefore estranged, despite containing elements familiar to everybody.
Louise Bourgeois, Cell (Clothes), 1996. Image courtesy of designboom
On the first floor, Gober’s works, which reverberate connections to childhood and to body parts, find a counterpart in Louise Bourgeois’s ‘Cell (Clothes)’ (1996)—a circular construction made of adjoining doors and treated iron gates, peopled by sculptures combined together with personal objects originally belonging to Bourgeois herself—and ‘Single III’ (1996), a fabric sculpture.