02 February 2017

FATTOBENE / Italian Everyday Archetypes

A heaven for the object-obsessed, FATTOBENE (“well-made” in Italian) is an inventory of Italian everyday items that have been manufactured the same way for generations. Here, you find little-known treasures, like art deco soaps and Modernist saffron packaging, Baroque candles and niche farmers’ textiles.

The husband-and-wife team Anna Lagorio (journalist) and Alex Carnevali (photographer) have been traveling through Italy for years to discover special and unique objects and tell their stories. “We started collecting everyday items during a holiday in Basilicata and Calabria. There are wonderful things that are very popular in some Regions, but are completely unknown outside. We are lucky, because in Italy we are surrounded by objects with a long history: here, even if you buy a soap, you have the possibility to choose between something ordinary and something special, like an original art deco one”.

Due to the economic crisis, many manufactures are going through a tough time. This is why Anna Lagorio and Alex Carnevali decided to launch FATTOBENE. “We want to create a new awareness of our material culture: these items owe their longevity to their quality, which is outstanding. Their packaging is also a work of art. They were strong enough to survive two world wars, but now they are disappearing. We want to invert this process”.

Every object is presented together with its own history and a little bibliography. “Let this be a warning to those coming to Italy: even a trip to the supermarket can become a museum experience over here! As long as you know where to look, of course”.

FATTOBENE exhibition

1 – 21 February 2017

Libreria 121+

Via Savona, 17 – Milano