Eva Marisaldi created Voliera (Aviary), 1998, on the occasion of the exhibition La Ville, le Jardin, la Mémoire, presented at the Villa Medici in Rome. Originally the piece was conceived in relationship to the studiolo of Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici, where it was exhibited. The artist was inspired by the nature of the studiolo as a place set aside for amorous encounters, and by the fresco decorations that describe flowers, birds, and insects as part of an eternal springtime.
Marisaldi’s installation is intended to offer a comfortable space, complete with carpet and cushions on which viewers can sit. Cardboard boxes that hang from the ceiling resemble those containing pheromones, used in organic farming. These aphrodisiacs attract insects, which are deceived and thus captured. At the Villa Medici the boxes actually contained pheromones, and the numerous insects became an integral part of the piece, their amorous dance an invitation to the spectators. Even when insects are not an active part of the installation, the environment presented by Voliera maintains the fascination of a place set apart. Persuasive music, composed by Enrico Maria Serotti, issues forth from a video transmitted by a monitor placed on the floor. The composer is filmed while he plays, surrounded by a computer-generated swarm of butterflies. At the same time, the mechanism of the “love trap” looms discretely, exposing the dangers inherent in the possible ambiguities that lie hidden within the signs of language.
Marisaldi’s works, which include performances, installations and videos, never provide unambiguous responses, but instead favor a multiplicity of solutions and meanings. Interpersonal relationships and above all the process of communication and the inherent difficulties posed by given languages are the domain of much of the artist’s explorations. Often the public is invited or placed in a situation in order to make an active contribution to the creation of the work. Indeed Marisaldi conceives each work as an open process that sometimes involves collaborators and also welcomes strong chance components. In this way the artist makes her field of investigation part of the implementation of the work.