Please, teach me Chinese – Please, teach me Italian / Marx a Prato, Gucci a Prato, 2018, is a performance by the artist Rainer Ganahl that was created as a result of the fashion show he staged at the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato in June 2018. Today, the Italian city is a centre of the international fashion industry and marked by a social division between the local population and a migrant, almost exclusively Chinese, community active in textile processing. Ganahl uses the invitation to learn languages, which he had printed by means of lettering on clothes designed by him, as a metaphor for mutual understanding. The fashion is inspired by the latest collections of the Italian company Gucci, which comes from neighbouring Florence and is also producing in Prato. The fashion show is accompanied by video and sound recordings, for which Ganahl incorporated slogans and symbols referring to Karl Marx.
Since the 1990s, the artist has been working with Marx’s writings, which he repeatedly incorporates into his works critical of capitalism. The recently released publication Manhattan Marxism (Sternberg Press 2018) brings together the projects of the New York-based artist of recent years and supplements them with further contributions by international artists.
In the context of Please, teach me Chinese – Please, teach me Italian / Marx a Prato, Gucci a Prato, 2018, fashion pieces will be staged performatively and the publication Manhattan Marxism will be presented.