As we told you just about a year ago, the fate of Prada Marfa, a faux Prada store, designed by Berlin-based artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, has been in question. Located about 30 minutes outside of the Marfa, Texas, the art installation was constructed in 2005 and designed to resemble a Prada store, right down to the Fall/Winter 2005 shoes and handbags, selected and provided by Miuccia Prada (Prada also allowed Elmgreen and Dragset to use the Prada trademark for this work but is otherwise not involved with the project and did not fund it).
The store is never open and is intended to never be repaired, allowing it to slowly degrade back into the natural landscape – the point of the installation. Problems arose for Prada Marfa after Playboy Enterprises' own installation (a 1972 Dodge Charger on top of a box in front of a forty-foot neon Playboy bunny sign) on the same highway was ordered to be removed in accordance with the 1965 Highway Beautification Act, which prohibits unlicensed roadside advertising. For this same reason, Prada Marfa has been in jeopardy after the Texas Department of Transportation declared that the building is a roadside advertisement, and thus, in violation of the Act.
Well, as of this week, after nearly a year of deliberations between Ballroom Marfa, the Texas-based non-profit art organization that oversees Prada Marfa, and the Texas Department of Transportation, Ballroom Marfa has reportedly obtained a lease for the privately owned roadside land, allowing the site to be classified as a museum and thus, fall into a loophole in Texas state law.
Veronica Beyer, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation has confirmed the news, saying: ‘The site is now an art museum site and the building is their single art exhibit." Moreover, Beyer stated that any signage on the site may now be considered “on-premise” and doesn’t require a permit under state law.