The Albergo Diurno Venezia, a historic structure built underground in the center of Milan, has for decades been an obligatory stop for anyone wishing to spend time caring for their body, for travelers in transit or for people looking for a public bath, not having one of their own. The structure, designed in the 1920s by architect Piero Portaluppi, has served a series of different functions and destinations over the years, eventually ending in its abandonment.
The building’s internal layout, with its numerous rooms, lends itself perfectly to interventions for the redefining of the spaces. Thus, on two separate occasions, Flavio Favelli and Ali Kazma were invited to breathe new life into this evocative, abandoned place, creating two site-specific projects, as different as they can be, but both in dialogue with the structure. Kazma intervened on the walls, projecting videos in which he had filmed some of the activities hosted for years in the same rooms that now serve as a setting.
Favelli, on the other hand, was inspired by the place’s original atmosphere, reconstructing the volumes that occupied the main room. Four sculptures in forms of assemblage and collage of diverse materials dialogue with more recent elements, such as luminous advertising signs, which recall the commercial life of the Albergo.
In this uninhabited place, a non-place by now, time has never stopped and its past, thanks to these artists’ interventions, becomes contemporary.