Giorgia Volpe


Artist and author

Giorgia Volpe

I had the key with me, the key that opens all doors ...

In her installation and relational practice, which is deployed in photographs, videos, sculptures, and performances, Giorgia Volpe offers a glimpse of a spirit that is free, nomadic, intuitive, and open. Thanks to her collaborative methodology, we imagine her as generous and easy to approach, the type of person to whom one would willingly hand over the key to an abandoned motel on route 132.

The key that opens all doors: this nice turn of phrase summarizes the unlimited access that Volpe obtained to a motel with a view on the river to undertake an in situ work (we can’t imagine that she asked for the key; no doubt, it was offered to her in the course of a conversation). In the motel, she created a set of images, still or in motion, revealing poetic interactions between onlookers and the surrounding spaces. Residents and passers-by joined Volpe in the game of constructing mysterious images, midway between performative documentation of actions and staging of stories inspired by the motel’s history, layout, and furnishings. The photographs and videos, showing the beauty – and sometimes the incongruity – of the landscape, the passage of time, and chance encounters, were also displayed on the shore thanks to playful use of portable textile constructions. Thought of as “external” skins, both garments and fanciful representations of other bodies, these works, sometimes tucked in alone but usually in groups, create new forms, engage new relationships with the body, sometimes provoke surprise or disorientation, and force people to come together and into contact.

The articulation between inside and outside is an important research axis for Volpe, and it is manifested here in multiple ways. We see it in the choice of sites – the shores of the river and the interior spaces of the motel; the hallways of Est-Nord-Est and the outside walls of a neighbouring barn; Volpe’s studio and a large sheet stretched out as a projection screen. Above all, we will understand that Volpe’s reflection on interiority/exteriority is developed through the relationship with the other, in the moments of encounter that feed the production and take it on a path different from that which it might have chosen itself. The key that opens all doors is perhaps the one that opens up to doors that we never imagined.