Always dreamed about heading down to Marfa, Texas and posing outside the famous Prada “store”, a la Beyonce? Well, you might want to book your tickets–and fast. According to the New York Times, the iconic structure is in danger of being torn down.
The Texas Department of Transportation recently deemed the art installation, which was erected in 2005, an “illegal outdoor advertising sign,” because of the Prada logo. According to the paper, the store, designed by artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragse, “contains six bags (without bottoms, to discourage theft), 20 shoes (the rights only, for the same reason), and hundreds of dead flies (thieves, help yourselves).” It is permanently locked.
Though Miuccia Prada gave permission to Elmgreen and Dragse to use her company’s logo, and provided the doctored merchandise, there is, according to Elmgreen, “no commercial relationship” between them. The project, which cost $80,000, was paid for by the New York nonprofit Art Production Fund in collaboration with Ballroom Marfa, a local contemporary art gallery.
“There’s a difference between being commissioned by a company to do something for them and using their logo, and using their logo on your own [for an artwork],” Elmgreen said.
But because the state technically classifies it as a sign, for which Elmgreen and Dragse did not obtain a proper permit, the structure violates the 1965 Highway Beautification Act.
“If they want to remove it because of bureaucracy, we tear it down,” Elmgreen said. “And then we can say that one of the quite well-known permanent artworks–that hasn’t cost taxpayers anything and that has been elected one of the most-worth-seeing roadside attractions in the States–is no longer.”
We really hope that doesn’t happen. “It was meant as a critique of the luxury goods industry,” Elmgreen said. Plus, it makes for a really cool backdrop for photos.