Installation view of ““Monte di Pietà”, a project by Christoph Büchel. Fondazione Prada, Venice. Photo: Marco Cappelletti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
20 Apr – 24 Nov 2024

Fondazione Prada presents the project “Monte di Pietà” conceived by artist Christoph Büchel in its Venice venue, located in the historical palazzo Ca’ Corner della Regina.

The layered history of the 18th-century palazzo Ca’ Corner della Regina – venue of the Monte di Pietà (Mount of Piety) of Venice from 1834 to 1969 and since 2011 permanent venue of Fondazione Prada – is Büchel’s framework for constructing an articulated network of spatial, economic, and cultural references. “Monte di Pietà” is a deep dive into the notion of debt as the root of human society and the primary vehicle by which political and cultural power is exercised. Historically, a crossroads of commercial and artistic exchange and intermingling, the city of Venice is an ideal context for exploring the relationships between these complex topics and the deep dynamics of contemporary society.

“Monte di Pietà” develops in an immersive environment, taking over the palazzo, specifically its ground floor, mezzanine and first floor. It consists of a fictitious bankrupt pawnshop based on the original layout of the Monte di Pietà of Venice. Christoph Büchel’s work The Diamond Maker (2020-), a suitcase containing lab-grown diamonds, is on view in this context. It results from a physical and symbolic process of destruction and transformation of the artist’s entire body of artworks in his possession, including the ones from his youth and childhood and those yet to be created. The diamonds have been realized by ALGORDANZA AG, a company founded in 2004 in Switzerland that produces memorial diamonds globally. “Monte di Pietà” incorporates new productions and references of installations previously conceived by Christoph Büchel, a heterogeneous selection of objects, documents, historical and contemporary artworks related to property history, credit and finance, the development of collections and archives, and the creation and meaning of real or artificial wealth.