Founded by Alessio Baldissera, Gloria de Risi and Alberto Zenere, Fanta-MLN first opened as a project space in 2015 in a former warehouse under the railway system in Milan. It focused on presenting emerging Italian artists, many in their first solo exhibition.
After three years of activity (2015 – 2018), the project space became a gallery in October 2018. Its aim was to engage more consistently in the artistic discourse it had begun and to open to new dialogues. Exploring a variety of artistic visions and media, the gallery’s program focuses on Italian and international emerging artists, alternating solo exhibitions with curated group shows. A particular interest is given to artists whose practice investigates our contemporaneity and the systems that govern it, questioning more or less explicitly their linearity and normative aspects.
Alongside its exhibition program, the gallery has always been particularly committed to producing publications and artists’ books.
“ The dialogue with the artists is fundamental, and they are often the first we discuss the choices of our program with.”
Alberto Zenere, Gloria de Risi and Alessio Baldissera. Courtesy Fanta-MLN. Photo: Talitha Dittfeld
In conversation with Alessio Baldissera, Gloria de Risi and Alberto Zenere, Fanta-MLN
When and how did you start your gallery?
Fanta-MLN originated from the personal relationship that binds us together and from the desire to create a place where we could exchange ideas and share projects. We met in Milan, where we all trained professionally. In 2015, we opened the Fantaspazio project space, focused on the presentation of emerging Italian artists. In 2018, this space was turned into a gallery, aiming to continue the discourse we had started and open it to new collaborations.
Tell us about the space you chose for your gallery and the surrounding area.
The gallery is in a former depot under the railway in Viale Monza. The area is a bit off from the center of town, but easily accessible. What impressed us about the space is its architecture. It is a single industrial volume characterized by a high vaulted ceiling, facing the street. Being right under the tracks leading to the Central Station, we are accompanied daily by the noise of passing trains.
Your program: what kind of art do you deal with?
Our program focuses on emerging Italian and international artists, alternating solo and group exhibitions. Over the years we have developed a particular interest in practices that investigate contemporaneity and the systems that regulate it, questioning, more or less explicitly, their linearity and normativity. The dialogue with the artists is fundamental, and they are often the first we discuss the choices of our program with.
The most unexpected visit you ever received at the gallery? The visit you would like to receive?
The most unexpected visit was that of Peter Fischli during Lorenza Longhi’s exhibition. We received a message on a day we were closed, so we hurried off to welcome him, quite excited about the arrival of one of our favorite artists! Thinking about the visit we would like to receive, since there are three of us it’s hard to choose just one name, but we would certainly like DJ Harvey, Greta Gerwig and Timothée Chalamet to come and visit us.
Choose a work you would like to take with you to a desert island.