Place: Milan, via Durini 24
Year: 2018
Project team: Davide Fabio Colaci with Margherita Sanfelici and Giuseppe Cirillo
Photography: Exhibition DSL Studio, Still life Claudia Zalla
Web site:

In the art world surrealism has always attempted to describe reality through seemingly irreconcilable worlds, creating images capable of astounding us with their absurdity. “Objects of symbolic function” and the production of “objects that appeared in dreams” seemed to foresee the obsolescence of those “things” that satisfied everyone, surrealism introduced the idea that being different is an expression of beauty and ambiguity. This belief, which spawned a total revolution in objects and our perception of them, today has seemingly become an integral part of the world of contemporary design, a discipline that constantly seeks to transform familiar things into objects from a different level of reality. The world of contemporary design employs free association of ideas, it brings together apparently different landscapes to carve out new sensations, creates points of contact with the real world where objects act as molecules of diversity and where the design world, both in art and fashion, becomes a system capable of reinventing daily life through its ethics and aesthetics. The Surreal Table is a project which takes the contemporary dining table as a territory ripe for exploration, an experimental yet everyday world of sensorial experience. A place poised between reality and symbolism, able to conjure up and communicate extremely meaningful values and messages. Just as within the surrealist movement where there could be a ‘shift in gaze’ to reveal new sides of a difficult to explain reality, Santa Margherita invited five designers to explore objects found on a dining table. Five new artworks paired with five different wines were created, a series of prototypes which play with our senses and express themselves through acts of conviviality and the rituals surrounding them.

The installation is divided into two scenes. The first features a mirrored table with descriptions of the designers’ works and introduces the five precious wines which inspired and accompanied them in the creative process and for which the chef Enrico Bartolini has devised an accompanying gastronomic creation. The second scene is laid out in the reception rooms designed by Francesco Maria Richini in the mid-seventeenth century which today are the official headquarters of Santa Margherita Gruppo Vinicolo. Within these rooms the work of the designers takes material form, enveloped in an immersive atmosphere where reflective copper-coloured screens, neon strips and painted ceilings create a space suspended in surrealism.