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‘Everyone should do this’? Visitors play tennis in 16c Italian church as part of art project (VIDEO)

‘Everyone should do this’? Visitors play tennis in 16c Italian church as part of art project (VIDEO)
A thought-provoking art project in Italy’s Milan saw people hitting tennis balls right under the ancient relics and frescos of a 16-century church. The US artist behind the art experiment dubbed his exhibition “Untitled (plot for dialogue).”

The playground has been installed in Milan’s Chiesa San Paolo Converso, a former Roman Catholic church currently used as an exhibition space. Organized by American artist Asad Raza, the project allows visitors to take racquets and play, or just observe the game in front of the old stone statues and paintings.

“For [the artist Asad] Raza, the game serves as a method of absorbing energetic drive into symbolic but non-harmful practices,” a written description of the exhibition says.

The experience proved to be quite emotional for visitors, with several people telling RT’s Ruptly video agency they enjoyed the special atmosphere.

“It feels...it’s crazy, doing a very active normal thing in a place that you usually feel it should be very serious and solemn,” one of the players told Ruptly. “It’s cool, I had a lot of fun. I think everyone should do this, play tennis in a church.”

While the idea may have raised some eyebrows, another male visitor also said that was a “unique experience” he would “highly recommend.”

San Paolo Converso has a Baroque facade designed by Italian painter and architect Giovan Battista Crespi. It was built in the 16th century, but at the beginning of the 19th century it was deconsecrated under a decree issued by Napoleon. It was then used variously as a warehouse, a concert hall and a recording studio. The church building is currently owned by design company CLS Architects.