What does «opening doors» mean to you?
To me opening doors and, having doors open on you, is a quintessential part of life. One cannot grow without being able to learn from others, without being able to access unknown universes. And one cannot teach, without opening up the gates to the world of his own recognitions and achievements. Hence at some point in life we all need a little luck, not only for having guardians believing in us and opening their gates to us, but also for spotting the doors, that guard an unknown world that might soon feel like home to us.
I am very lucky, that with diligence and dedication wonderful doors have been opened to me within the past few years. I am even more lucky that those who have welcomed me into their worlds are individuals of open-minded intellect and kindness, who are well aware that the transfer of knowledge is essential not only to their own legacies, but to future generations as well. These individuals were Bice Curiger and Not Vital.
Curiger, the grand dame of curatorial practice in Europe, opened her door to me when I came fresh out of university. The universe behind that gate was so rich and vast, that when it opened up to me, the blast was so strong I was left with messy hair, red cheeks and a pounding heart. In an act of immense trust Bice Curiger endowed me with the task of building her archive. In doing so, I was able to go through all her life, to study all of her big achievements and to uncover many treasures. People were often startled by the immense trust and independence I enjoyed in my job, but in fact, it is very simple: As soon as you recognize that somebody swung a big, heavy gate open for you, you simply give it all.
A few years later, after having long followed my academic and professional development, Not Vital invited me to come and work for him. His first decision as my boss was to invite me to come and travel the world with him. Not has many projects all over the world, and so we traveled from one continent to the next – sleeping on earthy floors in the Indonesian jungle, staying in five-star hotels in Hong Kong, working in China, travelling to and nearly dying on the island of Tonga in the South Pacific, were just few of those experiences. All those adventures, all of the people I got to know through him, all of the knowledge he taught me, all of the hard work that he demands and all of the laughs we had together, all of this is part of what he humorously calls “The Free University Not Vital”. To this very day, I haven’t gotten to know anyone, whose strict discipline and high demands go so naturally hand in hand with the granting of big, incomparable chances. Not is a door-opener par excellence.
For all of this and for all of my luck, I am joyfully and energetically looking forward to the point in life, at which I will be able to swing doors open for others. At the moment, I can only open windows, which I do with delight. But as soon as there will be gates, I will remind myself of all the people who, by letting me into their lives, have made me to who I am, and open those gates with as much wisdom and trust as I can.
Who is Giorgia von Albertini?
Giorgia von Albertini works as a Studio Manager to Not Vital, a Swiss painter and sculptor of international renommée. She furthermore operates as a freelance curator and writer, currently acquiring her master’s degree in Curatorial Studies at the prestigious CCS Bard in NY.