One of the most curious projects of this Milano Design Week, is undoubtedly the Desacralised exhibition, organized by Philia Gallery and set up in the deconsecrated Church of San Vittore and 40 Martyrs, located a few steps from the Corvetto metro stop, at 18 Viale Lucania.
The transition from the chaotic avenue to the interior of the former church is astonishing: an at times ecclesiastical music envelops the viewer who is catapulted into an environment where time seems to have stood still. The design objects selected and made especially for the exhibition reason about the concept of desacralization, subtracting the sacred element and leaving only the functional aspect. More than twenty designers, from Rick Owens to Pierre de Valck, from Elsa Foulon to Studio Kare, occupy the space of the only frescoed nave with exclusively white objects, harking back to marble and those materials typically used inside churches. The resulting effect is harmonious: contemporary design blends with the religious environment, which leaves viewers breathless, unconsciously led to remain in respectful silence.
Among the objects present, the space is dominated by the large chandelier placed in the center, “Cascades of light” by Morghen, which reproduces in a contemporary key the shape of the typical chandelier with arms. Other “light sources” are offered here: from Elsa Foulon‘s three “shell” lamps placed on the altar, to Andrés Monnier‘s “Ritus Candelabra,” which takes up the setting of a votive candelabra.
In addition to lamps, Philia Gallery offers a selection of tables and chairs, including Rick Owens‘ “Tomb chair” and William Guillon‘s “She’s Lost Control” tripod table. The selection continues with vases, such as those made of white onyx by Lucas Morten, and other more characteristically ambiguous objects such as Boldizar Senteski‘s “Void floor mirror” that reflects a faded, sometimes ghostly image and Willem Van Hooff‘s ceramic urn “Desacralised trophy,” placed at the entrance-exit to enshrine, as in a ritual, the beginning and end of the exhibition.
Photo Credits: Andrés Juan Suarez