Aphrodisia - Mali Weil - erotica is the new politics - photography


concept, design, creative direction:
Mali Weil

with the sustain of:
Compagnia di San Paolo within the framework of Ora! linguaggi contemporanei_Produzioni innovative, Provincia Autonoma di Trento

realized in collaboration with:
IED Torino, Circolo del Design, Torino Graphic Days, Toolbox Coworking, Overground magazine, Operae Indipendent Design Festival

in network with:
Palazzo Carignano-Polo Museale del Piemonte, CUS Torino Sez. Lotta, Teatro Stabile di Torino, CSS Ebla

powered by:
Centrale Fies

press office:
Carmela Santovito

communication support:
Virginia Sommadossi/Fies Core

graphic design:
Cinzia Bongino

Aphrodisia is a a space, an imaginary and a research on some kind of friendship relations, used as starting point for a new Animal Spirits capsule collection.
Aphrodisia is dedicated to Erotica, as the “art of intensifying relationships and inflaming the body and mind”. Each piece constitutes a fragment of a bigger narration in which spaces, rituality and private actions usually belonging to the domestic sphere, become moments to empower the body, to consolidate friendships, catalyzing new visions in which political imagination becomes an erotic act. The collection transforms the home environment into a gymnasium—the ancient Greek location dedicated to the physical and philosophical training of the individual for public life, but also a venue to cultivate political and erotic relationships. Intensity, beauty and narration intersect respectively in order to prepare for action.

But Aphrodisia is a process as well, realized along several months. Conceived with a performative approach, in order to forerun the making of the design-object and to be able to continue after the exhibition, Aphrodisia concept is a city-specific intervention employing different formats. From workshops for designers and students, to visual productions, from creative direction of a magazine site specific to public talks, dinners and lectures, from a research lab pop-up openings, until the design creation, as the final output of a wide supply-chain involving artisans, young designers and several cultural scene actors.

The collection launch within Operae Indipendent Design Festival in Turin has been completed by a performance: “Erotica is the new politics” a training experience for at least 2 people leaded by a personal trainer, a ritual to initiate the animal spirit to the erotic aspects of taking action.
Later Aphrodisia generated a performance which is also a dinner, where is possible to talk about erotica, about the relationship between Socrates and Alcibiades, about design and obviously about politics: “Amare Alcibiade”.

Aphrodisia è uno spazio, un immaginario e una ricerca su alcuni tipi di relazioni di amicizia, da cui nasce una nuova capsule collection Animal Spirits.
Aphrodisia è dedicata all’erotica come “arte di intensificare le relazioni e di infiammare corpo e pensiero”. Ogni pezzo costituisce un frammento di una narrazione in cui spazi, ritualità e azioni private appartenenti alla casa diventano occasioni per potenziare il corpo, intensificare relazioni amicali e far esplodere nuove visioni dove l’immaginazione politica si fa atto erotico. Trasformare l’ambiente domestico in un gymnasium -luogo della classicità dedicato all’allenamento fisico e filosofico alla vita pubblica, ma anche ambiente dove coltivare relazioni politiche ed erotiche- è l’obiettivo della linea: intensità, bellezza e narrazione si integrano a vicenda per preparare all’azione.

Ma Aphrodisia è anche un processo che si è concretizzato nell’arco di diversi mesi. Concepito in maniera performativa in modo da iniziare prima dell’oggetto di design e proseguire dopo la fiera, il concept si è articolato contemporaneamente in diversi formati e vari appuntamenti progettuali: da workshop per designer e studenti di accademie alla produzione e diffusione di visual e narrative, dalla direzione creativa di 1/16 di una rivista a talks, lecture e cene, dall’apertura pop-up di un research lab all’interno di festival di cultura visiva, fino alla produzione di design. La produzione di design poggia quindi su una filiera articolata che vede la collaborazione di giovani designer, creativi, cuochi e artigiani, oltre che di un network composto da molti attori culturali.

Il lancio della collezione ad Operae Indipendent Design Festival (Torino) è stato completato da una performance “Erotica is the new politics”, un training per almeno 2 persone guidato da un personal trainer, un’esperienza rituale per iniziare il proprio animal spirit all’erotica dell’azione.
In seguito Aphrodisia ha generato una performance che è anche una cena, dove si parla di erotica, della relazione tra Socrate e Alcibiade, di design e ovviamente di politica: “Amare Alcibiade”.


Erotica: site specific editorial project for Over Magazine, realized in collaboration with IED Torino and edited by Undesign Studio. photo credits art direction Mali Weil shooting & post-production Anna Donatiello, Alessia Tripodi wrestlers Simone Fidelbo, Francesca Indelicato shot in Palazzo Carignano Turin


A wrestling mat inspired by the greco-roman wrestling mat, which transforms the living room into a new space, in which to train your imagination and challenge your limits. A story with the “dazzling light of glory” at its center, like a mirror in which to see your own reflection. An entirely handcrafted product made with a low-warp loom and finished with precious raw copper inserts.

concept, design Mali Weil development Materia Critica production Manifact Weaving – Isabella Micati + Navarini Rame

virgin wool, copper 225×225 cm

Aphrodisia Circle - handmade tapestry
Animal spirits’ circle from aphrodisia collection. Photo courtesy Mali Weil

“Every firm friendship knows a little bit of conspiracy.”

Conspiracy is a dinner set designed to transform the convivial moment of supper into a symposium, where friendships and diverse political ideas mutually intensify until the point of fury, through the art of conversation. Inspired by Plato’s Symposium, the perfect example of a banquet where eros and politics combine, Mali Weil has designed a universal table utensil that can turn itself into a weapon if necessary.

concept, design Mali Weil production Fabrizio Baroni + Navarini Rame

copper, tin 27×3,5×2 cm / 37x 4,7×2,8 cm

Conspiracy - Aphrodisia collection - Animal-Spirits
Conspiracy - Aphrodisia collection - Animal-Spirits

Aphrodisia is completed by the lamp Complicity, presented at Ventura Future for the first time. It exists as applique, suspension or as abat-jour. The small and versatile abat-jour represents the smallest unit of luminosity. The pivotal element remains the copper circle present in all other items in the collection. In this case it is combined with Murano glass art, strengthening the connection with previous narratives. Heat, energy and conductivity are conveyed through a glowing veinand an excess of light, capturing in copper and glass that moment when individual action reaches its completion and the consequences shine into public space. A triumph of light and color that lets the imagination glow. concept, design Mali Weil development Granfo Lampadari production Nicola Moretti, Navarini Rame copper, cobalt murano glass, led strip, steel diam. 58 / 18 cm. 8 kg ca.

Complicity light applique- Aphrodisia collection - Animal Spirits
Complicity light applique- Aphrodisia collection - Animal Spirits

Wear intensity and style it as a sign of recognition among animal spirits. An explosion in pure gold, handcra ed, wrapped around the ngers like taping in a ght. Along with the jewellery, buyers will receive the .cad le of the product, allowing them to autonomously 3D print up to seven copies, enlarging their circle of animal spirits.

concept Mali Weil jewel design Matteo Bagna per Animal Spirits production Cristino Martinelli

18kt gold or 18kt gold, silver + ruthenium

ring Motherlode by Mali Weil black and gold

Collision is a set of six plant-based cosmetic oils made exclusively for Aphrodisia, in a mixer made from brushed-copper with a marble base. Combining the six oils, each with their own properties, results in exclusive blends suitable for di erent body parts. The blending goblet is designed to be held in the hand, so that the high thermal conductivity of the copper warms the oil to body temperature. Collision transforms a moment of personal care into a two-person ritual to prepare for action, igniting the body and focusing the mind.

concept,design Mali Weil + Luigi Miori cosmetic design Luigi Miori per Animal Spirits development Materia Critica production Areaderma + Navarini Rame 6 (political) body oils copper, lava or marble tray, cobalt glass bottle copper diam. 12,5 marble tray 22×16,5×3 cm

Collision - Aphrodisia Collection - lava tray
Aphrodisia Collision marble details


AMARE ALCIBIADE food & narrative performance on the figure of Alcibiade concept Mali Weil food design Fucina Supper Club, Padova premiere Venice within Design.Ve 2018 – fuori Biennale Architettura

EROTICA IS THE NEW POLITICS relational performance concept Mali Weil personal trainers Jozef Gjura, Giulia Mazzarino, Andrea Triaca premiere Turin Operae Design Fair – Contemporary Art Week 2017




Aphrodisia arises from the obsession to set on fire the political imagination. Aphrodisia nasce dall’ossessione di far ardere l’immaginazione politica.