De Allegri and Fogale

A Mystical Marble Interior in the Heart of Milan

The last time we saw a site-specific installation by the London-based duo De Allegri and Fogale, you literally couldn’t miss it — their Mise en Abyme tinted acrylic tunnel stretched across a bridge at the V&A, smack in the middle of the London Design Festival. But last week, the duo launched a project during Milan Design Week that was so small and hidden that you had to know exactly what you were looking for in order to find it. But perhaps that was part of the point: Called Mystical Solace, the installation — contained within a triangle storefront, with windows opening into the heart of Brera — was meant to be a commentary on the quiet, contemplative spaces that have become so popular during events like these. “The reference… is that of the contemporary and widespread need to flaunt a mystical detachment from the world and from the daily, buzzing, fast pace of things: If this need is fully justified, increasingly it seems to stumble over Western practices that are, to say the least, curious, sometimes fake, far from any form of authenticity.”

Whatever the motivations, the installation itself was lovely: Created in collaboration with the Italian stone company Casone and curated by Studio Vedèt, the space was covered in three different types of marble that were carved and engraved using a technique known as Florentine intarsia. In this case, Yellow Siena slabs were engraved with a CNC machine, and the resulting imprints were filled with black or green stone symbols and polished as if they were a single piece.

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