Photographs by Marco Menghi and Alberto Bechis Boll, Text by Alberto Bechis Boll
This project tells one of the last occupied houses in Milan at the very moment of his twilight. Since 1976, these walls have hosted art and culture, have been witnesses of theatrical performances and exhibitions, workshops and concerts.
The house has also received international organizations such as Survival which had its headquarters here for decades. But the truth is that Casa Morigi – so they always called its inhabitants – was primarily a home, a place in which to live and share an experience of community self-government.
Casa Morigi is in zona uno, a few steps from Piazza Affari. It’s one of the oldest houses in Milan, the first stones date back to the Roman era, even if the structure itself dates back to ‘400, then during ‘700 there was a substantial renovation that changed significantly the appearance of this place.
The building is considered a unique example of eclectic architecture, the different styles are mixed chasing from one stairs to another, leaving behind traces of different historical periods that the building has gone through. The two exterior facades that wrap around the house from via Morigi to via Gorani are lovely Baroque and Neo-Classical, while the interior boasts a mix of contrasting styles that range from Baroque to Liberty of the beginning of the twentieth century.
Casa Morigi is therefore a unique building of its kind.
In 1976 the house – in a state of decay – was occupied and repopulated by young artists and intellectuals who renovated the roofs the interior.
In 2012 has been bought by a italian plunger, who has already put back on the market, but first he have to evacuate all the inhabitants.
Today, after six months, Casa Morigi is empty and desolate, waiting to be re-bought and restored.
The entire project was carried out in medium and large format: for the time that the film photography requires, this peculiarity it was appropriate for a project that required a deeper contemplation and understanding.
Each frame is a moment of silent attention, shooting with the knowledge that this will be the final photo. Each image takes several minutes to be taken.
This is a way to work in harmony with the place and its inhabitants. Often, entering into every house, as is normal when someone comes armed with cameras, we met a minimum of stiffness, but before we took the first photograph the people had already forgotten us. This has allowed us to work calmly, a condition that in today’s society is rare and precious, because it allows deeper processing of the action that is taking place.