Giorgia Volpe

Tout ce qu’on peut porter


Digital print
Various sizes

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581, rue Heriot, Drummondville

Description of the work

This photograph was taken on Saint-Jean-Port-Joli’s shingle beach, on the shore of the St. Lawrence River, during Giorgia Volpe’s Est–Nord–Est residency in 2021. Locals and passersby took part in the artist’s process by wearing pieces she handcrafted from textile industry’s rejected materials. In the wind, the fabrics morph into surprising and unsettling new shapes. A mysterious image then emerges, halfway between performance documentation and fictional staging. By capturing her textile creations on subjects placed in a natural setting, the artist articulates a critical discourse about mass consumption of clothing and its environmental impact. Her compositions suggest a new way of inhabiting territory through togetherness, thus making it a deeply poetic work.

Giorgia Volpe

About the artist

Born in Brazil in 1969, Giorgia Volpe lives and works in Québec since 1998. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts education from the University of São Paulo and a Master’s in visual arts from Université Laval. Since then, the multidisciplinary artist has never limited herself to any particular medium, creating works—her own poetic interventions—that reflect their immediate environment.  

Giorgia Volpe is a prolific artist who has produced a vast corpus of intimist works, performances and public art. She has been part of 140 exhibitions, spoken publicly on numerous occasions and worked around the world as an artist in residence. Her works have been exhibited at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (Québec), the Museum of Contemporary Art in São Paulo (Brazil), the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (Thailand), the Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon (France), the Contemporary Textile Art Biennials in Portugal and Spain and the Xiang Xishi Center for Contemporary Art (China), as well as in the Flow exhibition in Philadelphia (USA).

Her work has been recognized through numerous awards and fellowships, both in her native Brazil and Québec. Touching upon universal themes such as history, affective and sensory memory, migration and cross-fertilization, her works are part of several Brazilian and Canadian contemporary art collections.

Artistic approach

Giorgia Volpe’s artistic practice is inspired by everyday actions and objects, which she collects, shapes and transforms in order to recover their primitive aspect. “I unmake all industrially-made things with my hands,” she once explained. The multidisciplinary artist is also interested in the various realities of the body and its relationship to the environment. She views the body as a place of individual and collective memory—one of passage from inwards to outwards, from visible to invisible, from intimate to public, from reality to the imaginary.

Volpe often relies on traditional crafts in her work, such as weaving, embroidery, knitting, basketry, quilting and mapping, as it enables her to explore different practices. She employs a variety of techniques: sculpture, site-specific project, performance, installation, video, photography and drawing. Her many experimentations do not stand alone. It is quite the opposite, as they are repeated over, and over again, in multiple forms or media, as a continuous and evolving process. 

Her work takes an experiential approach, creating encounters for herself and the viewers, hence often relying on public participation in her creative process. Ultimately, what drives her practice is the ability of art to spread in the space where it appears and act, therefore transforming our way to experiment and inhabit space.

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