These are trying times for cinema. The commonly tread narrative of accountants trumping artists, and franchises triumphing over independents is a well explored one, but one that continues to carry weight in an era of unparalleled attention deficiency.
Fondazione Prada have countered with ‘Belligerent Eyes’, an experimental film project of sorts, launched in time for the start of the Venice Architecture Biennale and taking place via a series of research and collaborative phases, culminating in fortnightly semi-public panel discussions. Each phase will see an international network of academics and filmmakers – as well as selected participants from external disciplines – share and develop ideas and various academic initiatives revolving around the future of the moving picture.
The project was conceived and designed by architect Luigi Alberto Cippini and developed in collaboration with film director Giovanni Fantoni Modena, who has directed commercials for Coca Cola and Samsung.
The programme kicked off this past weekend with its inaugural project, ‘Transmission Compound’, where a series of seminars focused on the analysis of current communication modalities via contemporary city infrastructures, led by architects John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog of Territorial Agency. Meanwhile, future projects will explore everything from the relevant factors in contemporary image production and the impact of warfare conditions on film and image collection, to the overlap between the study of visual materials and emerging research in the field of neuroscience.
At the same time, ‘5K Confinement’ refers to the reimagining of the Fondazione Prada’s digs on Ca’Corner della Regina in Venice, with influences ranging from modern border control design to the visual ‘bankruptcies’ of international corporate environments.
This isn’t the first time that Fondazione Prada has invested in the film world. The foundation announced the ambitious project back in January during a high-profile screening series at their Milan location (which was co-curated by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu and US critic and film scholar Elvis Mitchell), and for several years have produced the ‘Miu Miu Women’s Tales’ series of short films by women directors in partnership with the Venice film festival.