Linking Minds Bendita Gloria
On view at Palazzo Litta during Milan Design Week, 4-9 April
Their name sounds like a gang of cheerful rascals. Yet there are only two of them: Alba Rosell and Santi Fuster, strongly linked minds both in life and work. As graphic designers they might be wild geese in Palazzo Litta, but they feel comfortable in the most varied of contexts. Spanish wood coatings brand Valresa has invited them to try out its innovative ‘Virtual Melt’ digital-print-on-wood technology on the iconic TRIA shelves by Mobles 114. The result is a surprising and subdued festive installation.
“We've built an after-party scene on the shelves, with Martini glasses. Apparently, some drinks have been spilled”, Santi Fuster explains. "The level of realism isn’t very high (the glasses are empty, the cherry in the martini is a piece of red wood, the coaster is printed...), it’s an obvious fake. The best way for the Palazzo Litta visitor to approach this project is naïvely - just let the ‘phantasmagoria’ happen; you know it isn’t real but still you enjoy it.” As nonchalant as the installation seems, it is actually well thought out – strong concepts are the trademark of Studio Bendita Gloria. “Because this is happening in Milan, the main-roles in this farce are played by a Dry Martini and some sottobicchieri. We would adapt the setting if the location were different. For example, if shown in Moscow, we would have vodka glasses and the Russian word for ‘coaster’ on the coasters.”
Santi Fuster reports that “it was a challenge to use the Virtual Melt digital-print-on-wood technology in a way that wasn’t only decorative. Those kinds of innovations often go down a dead end and we wanted to avoid that. Besides, we didn’t only use it cosmetically: it is a structural part of the installation. The interesting thing for us is the little narrative behind this micro-scenography and the idea of imagination as the stimulating part in representation. It’s a non-commercial application of a particular piece of furniture. And hopefully, the theatrical aura of this intervention will be amplified by the look and feel of Palazzo Litta!”
“As a company we don’t have a specific profile. I guess that is why we fit in perfectly at Palazzo Litta”, Santi Fuster says. Bendita Gloria (“The name is an old Spanish expression meaning something between 'heaven on earth' and 'holy cow!'. When we started, we didn’t want a name from a Fancy Naming Company.") sails into a variety of projects. From packaging and posters through wine labels and books to communications and an invitation for a Flamenco wedding. “We always spend a lot of time discussing the project and fine-tuning the concept, in order to find the right language to communicate it. Then the result can be anything you imagine.”
Come see Bendita Gloria’s phantasmagoria in Palazzo Litta, Corso Magenta 24 in Milan, 4-9 April.
Bendita Gloria is known for, and proud of:
• The book compiling Roc Herm's project ‘Postcards from Home’
• Miralda's El Internacional book, recently launched in the States
• The identity and art direction of Anna Bonny's mastectomy patch.
images by Cualiti Photo \ Bendita Gloria – “Please note that the images are a simulation; it’s not the final project.”