Playing tennis inside a 16th-century Milan church

Untitled (plot for dialogue) by Asad Raza

by Valentina Ieva
9

For Untitled (plot for dialogue), Asad Raza continues his exploration of inhabiting space with social practices, human and non-human beings, and objects. Raza responds to the architecture of the 16th-century church by introducing flooring, lines, netting, racquets, iced jasmine tea, scent, and coaches for a tennis-like game. He repurposes the church, a place of messages from higher authorities, into a space of two-way exchange and recreation. 


Installation view, Asad Raza, Untitled (plot for dialogue), CONVERSO, Milan
ph: Andrea Rossetti 

 

Raza’s involvement in tennis is longstanding; he is an avid player and has written extensively on the subject. Here he reorients the sport as a reflection on the importance of non-productive activities in a society focused on work. For Raza, the game serves as a method of absorbing energetic drives into symbolic but non-harmful practices.


Visitors to Untitled (plot for dialogue) become more than spectators—practising with the coaches, they inhabit their bodies in coordinated action. Players respond to each other through the ball and the plot of the court. The piece places the experience of playing above purely visual appreciation, as the back-and-forth of tennis exchanges produces meditative beauty through actions never to be repeated.

Installation view, Asad Raza, Untitled (plot for dialogue), CONVERSO, Milan
ph: Andrea Rossetti

 


Asad Raza (b. Buffalo, USA ,1974) combines experiences, living beings and objects in his acclaimed work as an artist, producer, and programmer. His recent projects include Root sequence. Mother tongue at the Rockbund Museum, Shanghai, and the Whitney Biennial, New York; Mondialité at the Villa Empain, Brussels; and home show at his apartment, New York.

Installation view, Asad Raza, Untitled (plot for dialogue), CONVERSO, Milan
ph: Andrea Rossetti

Installation view, Asad Raza, Untitled (plot for dialogue), CONVERSO, Milan
ph: Andrea Rossetti

 

Converso is an exhibition space devoted to the arts of our time. It is hosted in the former church of San Paolo Converso in Milan, today the headquarters of the architectural firm CLS architetti. Converso is free and open to the public from Thursdays to Saturdays.


Converso presents exhibitions and events. Artists of different ages, places, and creative languages are invited to develop projects that interact with the space’s historical, architectural and symbolic features.

 

Asad Raza
Untitled (plot for dialogue)
03.11 - 16.12.2017

http://www.converso.online/

 

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    • Valentina Ieva

      Architect

      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al cuore di natura elettrica’!)

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