A large sign in blue tones, resembling a giant cartoon bubble straight out of a comic book, welcomed visitors to via Privata Rezia 2, where a thin neon sign foreshadows Marsèll Paradise, the multidisciplinary Milanese space of the Venetian footwear brand Marsèll. During Milan Design Week 2022, the brand unveiled Matylda Krzykowski’s latest site-specific project (on display at Marsèll Paradise until 15 July 2022).
Matylda Krzykowski at Marsèll Paradise
Born in Poland but raised in Germany, the artist teaches, plans, designs, and writes about physical and digital space.
Her most recent project, an investigation into the perception of space in contemporary culture, is also the first to take up the entire surface of Marsèll Paradise: ‘You don't want space; you want to fill it’, is an exhibition, an installation, and a social space all at the same time.
Careful planning appears to challenge, or at least call into question, the precise method of display of the Milanese design days. According to the exhibition guide, works by contemporary, transdisciplinary artists, designers, performers, and musicians who shift between visual and performative, natural and artificial, human and animal, touch and sound are included. Phillip Schueller, Collo Awata & Delfiné, Lisa Ertel & Jannis Zell, and Mirka Laura Severa, with assistance from Miriam Wierzchoslawska, are involved.
As soon as you enter, a sort of confetti-filled piñata-shaped like a Dalí artwork awaits you on the right, hanging from a blue rope – the colour blue dominating the entire environment. A painted pigeon peeps over a trompe l'oeil bookcase, long hands with raised fingers run through all the rooms, piles of pizza-blue boxes bordered by the exhibition title appear in the corners, and a fluorescent and transparent curtain reproduces a lobster and a changing room at the same time.
Some of the furniture is directly from Krzykowski's home. A girl sits on a blue bench on the side of a room called ‘Alcove’, surrounded by organic-shaped spikes in grey, beige, and black, looking at the exhibition maps. Two friends take a selfie in front of a pair of cartoon eyes. A video by Mirka Laura Severa is topped with a cartoon bubble that reads: ‘There is an audience's voyeuristic desire to enter people's homes and living rooms.’ A mezzanine hosts a large blue-upholstered bed resting on a green floor, surrounded by stacks of books and magazines – a copy of Liliana Barchiesi’s photography book Donne è bello is left open, next to the imprint of a body on the bedspread, indicating the last visitor.
Downstairs, in the space usually set aside for the exhibitions, the scenography changes dramatically; a yellow light dominates everything, and the only link to the upper floor is a blue comic that reads: ‘Do you want to live inside a tree, or behind a window on the other side of the street?’ Lisa Ertel and Jannis Zell, designers and artists, appear to have collected nonhuman artefacts, or biofacts, along their recurrent walks in urban and rural landscapes, and they brought them back to their studio to create a growing Wunderkammer, blending the collected souvenirs and raw materials with the studio's interior, questioning our habitat. ‘Defensive Shelf’ is a spike-armed metal shelf that welcomes wood and flowers in a corner. ‘Beaver and its Shadow’ is a reproduction of an orange fruit placed on a trunk section.
‘Can I touch it?’ a young man whispers to his girlfriend, as she sits cautiously on a large dark sofa that appears to be carved from stone. It turns out to be soft and comfortable: ‘I'm not sure,’ she replies. ‘Nothing here is as it appears.’
‘You don’t want space; you want to fill it’ is on view until 15 July 2022
ADDRESSVIEW GOOGLE MAPS
Via Privata Rezia 2
20135 Milano MI
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Cristina Kiran Piotti is an Italian-Indian freelance journalist. After completing her studies in journalism in Milan, she pursued a master's degree in the economic relations between Italy and India at the Ca' Foscari Challenge School in Venice. She splits her time between Milan and Mumbai and, since 2008, she has concentrated her work mostly on design, current affairs, and culture stories, often drawing on her enduring passion for geopolitics. She writes for several publications in both English and Italian, and she is a consultant for communication firms and publishing houses.
Inside Sterling Ruby and OTW by Vans’ skatewear-inspired collaboration
American artist Sterling Ruby and OTW by Vans’ footwear collaboration was revealed in Los Angeles, backdropped by a specially constructed skate park created with PLAYLAB, INC
By Tilly Macalister-Smith Published
Nothing Phone (2a): an exclusive first look
Three years in the making, the Nothing Phone (2a) embodies the tech start-up’s ethos and aesthetic approach. We explore the genesis of the new design in an exclusive preview
By Jonathan Bell Published
Ikea and Raw Color deliver a collection of vibrant crafts to cheer up your living space
Ikea and Raw Color present ‘Tesammans’, a collection full of playful designs, vibrant textures and an eye-catching colour palette
By Yoko Choy Published
Faye Toogood brings new life to Matisse’s legacy
Milan Design Week 2023: tapped by Maison Matisse, the London-based designer has taken inspiration from the French master’s forms to create a collection of heirloom-worthy objects
By Sam Rogers Published
Prada Frames 2023: Milan programme announced
Programme announced for Prada Frames 2023 at Milan Design Week, the annual symposium curated by Formafantasma at Luigi Caccia Dominioni's Teatro Filodrammatici from 17 to 19 April
By Rosa Bertoli Last updated
Alessi Occasional Objects: Virgil Abloh’s take on cutlery
Best Cross Pollination: Alessi's cutlery by the late designer Virgil Abloh, in collaboration with his London studio Alaska Alaska, is awarded at the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2023
By Rosa Bertoli Published
Salone del Mobile 2023: highlights from Milan Design Week
In pictures: our highlights from Milan Design Week, held during the 61st Salone del Mobile 2023 (18-23 April)
By Rosa Bertoli Last updated
Design Miami 2022: highlights from the fair and around town
Design Miami 2022 (30 November – 4 December) aims at ‘rebooting the roots of our relationship with nature and collective structures, ecospheres, and urban contexts’
By Sujata Burman Last updated
Salon Art + Design 2022: design highlights not to miss
Wallpaper* highlights from Salon Art + Design 2022, New York
By Tilly Macalister-Smith Last updated
Design Week Lagos 2022 celebrates creativity and innovation in West Africa and beyond
Curated by founder Titi Ogufere, Design Week Lagos 2022 is based on a theme of ‘Beyond The Box’
By Ugonna-Ora Owoh Last updated
Designart Tokyo transforms the city into a museum of creativity
Designart Tokyo presents global design highlights through a series of exhibitions involving global creative talent and traditional Japanese craft
By Danielle Demetriou Last updated