Papadimitriou’s work uses these homes away from home not only as places for quiet reflection but also as sites where another community is grouped together around new relationships and ideas. The hotel is open to everyone around the clock: the world’s traveling art community, the Milanese passer-by, the squatter, the tourist, the city dweller and anyone interested in reflecting on public space from a semiprivate perspective.
Ultimately, Hotel Isola is also the result of the surrounding community’s conflict with the local urban planners and the Garibaldi-Repubblica building project. While the Isola residents would like to transform the abandoned factory into a community center, the planners would like to tear down the old structure to make way for high-rise commercial towers. Papadimitriou’s hotel – as a transient space – provides for a home for the Isola residents’ reflections as well as a monument to their history. Apart from one bed, Hotel Isola is filled with objects that the artist collected from the factory and from the locals. Here, visitors can rest with the past and contemplate the future.
Excerpt from “A Local Home Away from Home,” in exh. cat. The People’s Choice, p. 34.