Ballroom Marfa Responds to Vandalizing of Elmgreen and Dragset Installation

Elmgreen and Dragset, Prada Marfa. Photo: Rob Hann. Courtesy the Art Production Fund.

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset‘s Prada Marfa installation, a seemingly fully stocked yet completely inaccessible Prada store outside Marfa, Texas, critiquing luxury consumerism, has been a popular target for vandals since it was commissioned by Ballroom Marfa in 2005. Though the piece was meant to engage with the public in this manner, large-scale vandalism this past weekend was far more destructive than the occasional bullet holes and graffiti that has characterized previous acts.

A statement from Ballroom Marfa criticized the act, saying:

the large scale defacement of the structure overwhelms this forum and shuts down the dialogue. A site previously recognized as an example of sustainable earth architecture is now coated in toxic paint while the insulation foam garbage left behind by the defacer(s) blows across the highway and into the landscape.

Ballroom Marfa promises to restore the installation, and is optimistic about the structure’s future. “We’re close to resolving the widely publicized issues with the Texas Department of Transportation,” (the state ruled the faux shop an illegal ad last year) “and we expect Prada Marfa will be around for years to come.”

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