Cere Anatomiche represents a significant instalment in Fondazione Prada's ongoing research project, which aims to unveil valuable collections from guest museums and present them within a contemporary cultural context, offering fresh interpretations and perspectives on cultural heritage. In this exhibition, the focus lies on thirteen 18th-century ceroplastic works from the prestigious Florentine museum, with an emphasis on the representation of the female body for scientific purposes.
Complementing the exhibition is a new short film, Four Unloved Women, Adrift on a Purposeless Sea, Experience the Ecstasy of Dissection, directed by David Cronenberg at La Specola. Through digital editing techniques, Cronenberg weaves an alternative narrative, incorporating the displayed works into his distinct creative vision, exploring themes of the human body's mutations and contaminations.
The exhibition unfolds in two distinct yet interconnected parts. The upper floor of Fondazione Prada's Podium showcases the historical ceroplastic works from La Specola's collection, presenting them in a scientific museum-like fashion. Here, visitors can appreciate the intricacies of the anatomical waxes up close. In contrast, the ground floor immerses viewers in a captivating and enigmatic journey, where the same works are utilised and explored through the unique perspective of Cronenbergian cinematic imagery. The wax models become protagonists in a process of metamorphosis, liberated from their academic role as medical demonstrations and educational tools. Cronenberg's film reveals the vivid and unexpected dimensions of the ceroplastics, provoking new emotional responses and intellectual impressions.