"Anatomical Waxes" at Fondazione Prada Reveals the Alluring Mysteries of the Human Body
An exhibition exploring the liminal space between the scientific and the artistic narrative.
Fondazione Prada presents “Cere Anatomiche” (Anatomical waxes), a new exhibition conceived by Canadian director and screenwriter David Cronenberg and La Specola, one of Europe’s oldest science museums and part of the Museum of Natural History and Museum System of the University of Florence.
The two-part exhibition showcases a selection of 13 eighteenth-century ceroplastic works from the renowned collection of the Florentine Museum, along with 72 exhibition copies of anatomical drawings gathered in nine vitrines. This exploration into anatomy, history and art offers an irreverent dialogue between the scientific and the artistic narrative.
Moreover, the creative agency Random Studio assisted in presenting two interpretations of the work on view. Guests can view four reclining female figures displayed with a scientific museum-like approach on the ground floor, including one of the most relevant works of La Specola’s collection, the so-called Venus, a rare model with detachable parts famous for its beauty, made by 17th-century Italian sculptor Gaetano Giulio Zumbo.
Cronenberg recontextualizes those same figures as protagonists in an original short film titled Four Unloved Women, Adrift on a Purposeless Sea, Experience the Ecstasy of Dissection. The artist noted in a statement on the show: “The wax figures of the Specola were created primarily as a didactic tool, capable of revealing the mysteries of the human body to those who could not access the rare anatomical lessons with real cadavers held in universities and hospitals.”
Meanwhile, Miuccia Prada added: “The museum and the artist propose to the public complementary visions. The result is at the same time an art exhibition, an anatomy lesson and a video about desire.” Anatomical Waxes will be available to view at Fondazione Prada’s location in Milan until July 17.
L.go Isarco, 2