Fondazione Prada presents “Le Studio d’Orphée” by movie director Jean-Luc Godard in Milan from 4 December 2019.

Le Studio d’Orphée

“Le Studio d’Orphée” (Orpheus’ studio) is an atelier, a recording and editing studio, a living and working place that is relocated on the first floor of the Sud gallery, one of the industrial buildings of Fondazione Prada’s Milan venue. The director decided to transfer the technical material, used in his latest films’ shooting from 2010, as well as furniture, books, paintings and other personal items from his studio-house in Rolle in Switzerland.


The word “atelier”, used by Godard to define this space, evokes the handcrafted dimension that characterizes his practice as a director, combining his own movie production to the theatre and visual arts fields. Within “Le Studio d’Orphée” the feature film Le Livre d’image (The Image Book), 2018 and nine short movies by the director —On s’est tous défilés, 1988; Je vous salue Sarajevo, 1993; Les enfants jouent à la Russie, 1993; The Old Place, 1998; De l’origine du XXIème siècle, 2000; Liberté et Patrie  (Liberty and Homeland), 2002; Une bonne à tout faire, 2006; Vrai faux passeport, 2006; Une Catastrophe, 2008— will be screened on a television monitor usually employed by Godard as a working tool. Visitors will have the unique opportunity to attend the screening of Le Livre d’image  in the physical place where the film was conceived and realized, in the editing, the sound mixing, the production and post-production phases. For the first time it will be possible to closely observe the creative process at the origin of a cinematographic work. The enigmatic, fragmentary and multiple nature of Le Livre d’image  is shared by “Le Studio d’Orphée”. Its elements are evidence of the artist’s role in the construction of his work space. They create a spatial and emotional geography, within which visitors will be invited to live an experience of exploration, without imposed ideas or an univocal interpretation.

Poetic Force

“Presque tout le monde a le courage de vivre sa vie, mais pas de l’imaginer” (“Most people have the courage to live their lives, but not to imagine them”), says Edgar, the protagonist of the film Éloge de l’amour  (In Praise of Love) directed by Jean-Luc Godard in 2001. The poetic and metamorphic force of “Le Studio d’Orphée” concentrates on this dialectic between life and imagination, existence and artistic creation. Its title expressly mentions the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, establishing a parallel between the director and the Greek poet-musician. For Fondazione Prada’s Milan premises Jean-Luc Godard also conceived “Accent-soeur”, a sound installation inside Torre’s lift. Visitors will be able to listen to the soundtrack of Histoire(s) du cinéma, an 8-part video work realized from 1988 to 1998 by the director, who used excerpts from films, news, philosophy writings, novels, poems, music and artworks to narrate the complex and multifaceted history of the seventh art. It is no coincidence that one of Godard’s sentences in Histoire(s) du cinéma  reads as follows: “Moi aussi, j’avais cru un instant que le cinéma autorise Orphée à se retourner sans faire mourir Eurydice. Je me suis trompé. Orphée must payer.” (“I, too, had believed for a moment that the cinema authorized Orpheus to look back without causing Euridyce’s death. I was wrong. Orpheus will have to pay.”)