Italian luxury house Prada will present the fourth iteration of Prada Mode, a travelling social club with a focus on contemporary culture that provides members a unique cultural experience along with music, dining, and conversations. The club is organized to augment and extend significant cultural events in various cities worldwide.
The first inaugural iteration coincided with Art Basel: Miami Beach in December of 2018 followed by a second at Art Basel: Hong Kong in March of 2019, and a third at Frieze London in October of 2019. Members experience unique, site-specific artworks; join nightly parties featuring exhilarating performances and live music; and sample specialty dining and cocktails throughout.
Set to align with the opening of Paris Haute Couture on 19–20 January 2020, Prada Mode Paris will occupy Maxim’s on 3 Rue Royale, the legendary, 1893 Belle Époque restaurant.
A registered national landmark, Maxim’s has welcomed everyone from the artistic and political figures of the early 20th century Parisian world, to the 50s’ Hollywood celebrities, and intelligentsia across all generations.
The restaurant’s interiors are a marvel of Art Nouveau design and includes unique masterworks.
For Prada Mode Paris, the iconic restaurant will be transformed by AI researcher and professor Kate Crawford and artist and researcher Trevor Paglen — who conceived the Training Humans exhibition on view at Osservatorio Fondazione Prada in Milan until 24 February 2020 — into an installation titled “Making Faces” which includes art projects and architectural modifications focusing on data gathering, surveillance and facial recognition.
Prada Mode Paris will present both a history and future of AI training images and take a critical look at current surveillance and policing systems, all mapped on the art nouveau interior of Maxim’s.
Visitors will walk through a promenade of images from the 19th century to the present, which tell a story about the history of facial capture and analysis. The space serves as a reminder of the dark histories from which contemporary facial recognition systems have emerged. Pages from phrenology and physiognomy textbooks mix with historical mugshots, and “training images” used for facial recognition software appear with patent applications from major tech companies.
Throughout Maxim’s, artefacts such as phrenological busts, calipers, antique manuals and books, and all manner of measurement tools used to study faces and heads over the last two hundred years are hidden inside the historical architecture of the club.