"Every act of foundation is also an act of loss; each foundation is accomplished on the basis of a destruction, on the ruins of something previous, on the ground on which it rests [...] Some foundational places are thought to preserve rather than to erase the violence of their origins, as if the ultimate goal were exactly that of keep the wound open, the trauma in plain sight”
W.J.T Mitchell, Image Science
Medhelan, or "middle ground" or "middle sanctuary" is the oldest name given to the city of Milan. According to the legend in 590 A.C. the priests of a Celtic tribe of the Insubri population were guided by divine signs that led them to a marshy area, near the present Piazza della Scala, where they created a sanctuary. Following propitiatory rites and the recognition of sacred signs in this area, the first inhabited center was established which gave life to the city of Medhelan. In ancient times, to justify and legitimately base the appropriation of a space that was completely taken away from the dominion of nature, a divine origin was sanctioned for its own stable settlement so as to directly involve the gods in the fate of the city.
The project, influenced by the legend of the origin of the city, wants to reflect on the transitory nature of the elements that make up an urban environment in constant change. The photographs taken in the space of the historic center show a place inhabited and stratified over time by religions, symbolisms and different populations. Medhelan thus becomes the image of a city populated by people who, by changing what they have around, are showing traces of an arcane past.