Parabiago, a half-hour train ride from Milan, is a classic example of a small town in northern Italy: not even 30,000 inhabitants, a solid manufacturing reputation (it is a major footwear hub), a few old buildings, a few early 20th-century villas.
It is with surprise and a sense of exploration that in the church of Sant’Ambrogio della Vittoria, founded in the 14th century but enlarged and redesigned in the early 18th century, one discovers an exhibition dedicated to expressions of contemporary creativity.
This is Antìtesi (open until 08/10), an exhibition born from a joint initiative of BeAlpha, an organisation active in the field of design, and the association La Fabbrica di Sant’Ambrogio. Inside the church, still consecrated, are objects and works by almost forty creative artists selected through an international call for entries.
“The confrontation with the rhetorical figure of antithesis led us to get to know the multiple approaches of the participants, who unveiled projects that were deliberately ambiguous and also for this reason capable of stimulating profound reflections,” writes the team of FOROStudio, the creative group behind BeAlpha. “Our aim was to bring to life a collection of narratives that explore the approach to a world in constant evolution. In this key, the practice of antithesis becomes a way”, they continue, “to understand and appreciate the harmonious dualism between opposing concepts, where contrast and harmony live through the creative act”.
Smaller objects are placed on large tables in the centre of the nave; video works illuminate the ancient confessionals in an unusual way, creating a short circuit between art and faith; larger pieces are arranged around the altar. Each caption is accompanied by a specific QR code, allowing those who wish to know more about the work in question or even to purchase it.
The participants are: AGASign, Alice Crepaldi, Andreas Palfinger, Angelika Grzegorczyk, Anna Dietzel, Atelier Macramé, Ava Wolff, Caterina Valletta, Cristina La Porta Studio, Daniela Deluca, Deniz Yenidogan, Ebe Collective & Soòum Studio, Eleonora Novati e Antonin Demont, Ercole Design, Francesca Caronna, Francesca Pennesi, Gianni Puri, Giulia Pirrello, Jonathan Bocca, Lanzi + Guarascio + Corsi, Lorenzo Leo, Luxuramics, Madam Bozarjiants by Designbureau, Mamt, Marina Comerio, Martina Moriondo + Valentina Bresciani, Massinelli Design, Michelangelo Bove, Miguel Reguero Studio, Millim Studio, Miyelle Karmi, Morellini Lab, Plam Creative Studio, Silbenni, Sonia Gasparini, Space Travellers Architects, Theforma, Ylaria Pavone Studio.
The exhibition is part of a growing number of initiatives that bring contemporary design and creativity out of both the temporal boundaries of Milan Design Week and the geographical ones, involving an area that has always been close to production. The hope is to give life and keep active a virtuous circle, capable of giving visibility and strength to a plurality of ideas.