Artist Asad Raza has installed a bright orange tennis court within the interior space of a late 16th century deconsecrated church in Milan. In doing so, Milan’s Chiesa di San Paolo Converso has been re-purposed as a contemporary art space to host the artist’s latest work called Untitled (Plot for Dialogue).
Visitors become more than spectators — practicing with the coaches, they inhabit their bodies in coordinated action. Players respond to each other through the medium of the ball and the plot of the court. The piece places the experience of play above purely visual appreciation, as the back-and-forth of tennis exchanges produces meditative beauty through actions never to be repeated.
The deconsecrated Milan church was converted in 2014 by CLS architects, who repurposed the space as a studio, inserting a free-standing black iron box as an office and turning the crypt into a ‘table of ideas’. They practice has hosted exhibitions and concerts in the building’s barrel-vaulted nave, as part of an ongoing programme inviting artists and musician to develop projects that connect with its historic and architectural features.
Raza’s piece is intended to explore the ways human beings use space through social practices – inspired by his own love of the sport. Untitled (Plot for Dialogue) runs until 16 December at Piazza S Eufemia, 20122 Milan.
all images © Andrea Rossetti