As an anthropology and art history student, I’m no stranger to museums—but the “24 h Museum,” presented by Prada and designed by Francesco Vezzoli with AMO, is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Actually, it’s kind of like the antithesis of the typical museum, constructed to house esteemed objects for an indefinite eternity. This pop-up museum, housed in the Palais d’Iéna, where the Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2012 show was held, challenges not only our notions of classical art, but also our notions of what defines a museum.
The central space is a church nave-inspired cage constructed of pink fluorescent lights. Within the “temple” are eleven lit-up statues —creating an effect that is slightly campy and slightly holy at the same time. Vezzoli highlights contemporary divas that represent contrasting visions of femininity, such as Courtney Love (clutching her breasts, natch) and Natalie Portman, and places them—literally—on marble pedestals. Alluding directly to the convergence of religion and culture, Vezzoli places a fluorescent haloed Virgin (fashioned after his own mother) and Child in the center of the space.