A total art museum lasting just a day

Paris: Francesco Vezzoli and AMO design the “24 Hours Museum” for Prada

by Malcolm Clark
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Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli and Rem Koolhaas, this time with his design office AMO (a ramification of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture OMA) have created the 24 Hours Museum, inside Palais d’Iéna, in Paris for the Prada Foundation.

The historical building, designed by Auguste Perret between 1936 and 1946 and currently the headquarters of the CESE, an advisory body of the French Parliament, has become centre of contemporary world art for a day. The '24 h Museum', as its name suggests, was open for just 24 hours, from Tuesday 24 to Wednesday 25 January, and is broken down into three sections, each one inspired by a particular vision of the Museum: historical, contemporary and forgotten.

The main space is a great metal cage covered by pink neon lights on the ground floor of the building. In the three sections Vezzoli has created a "non existent museum" where he shows his personal tribute to eternal female beauty, with classical sculptures referring to contemporary divas.

The exhibition space reflects on the idea of a museum as a social laboratory, investigating amongst the different types of exhibition space and the rituals surrounding them. AMO investigates the evolution of the idea of the Museum, which ranges from the classic 18th century idea to the "propaganda machine" of fascist Germany, later deconstructed in meaning and in spaces in the post war period and finally converted into its current function as a global commercial and tourist attraction.

The result is a collage of spaces of differing size and quality, an imaginary and ephemeral total museum which hosts the sequence of rituals unfolding in the 24 hours. The museum/installation opened at 8.30 pm on Tuesday with a dinner served to the illustrious guests amongst the exhibits and was followed from 11 pm to the early hours of the morning by a launch party with British model Kate Moss acting as celebrity DJ.

    24 Hours Museum 29

    24 Hours Museum

    Paris / France / 2012