The exhibition is dedicated to Chiara Fumai (1978–2017), a former ISCP alumni, whose mainly performative practice revolves around feminist issues, magic, terrorist propaganda and Italian Autonomist Marxism. The exhibition brings together two of her pioneering works, while during the opening her performance “The S.C.U.M. Elite” (2014) has also been reenacted.
The first installation on view, “The Book of Evil Spirits” (2015), recalls a psychic parlor, with several related props and a video which presents the character of Eusapia Palladino, a famous nineteenth century Italian clairvoyant. She evokes the spirits of a group of women, such as Zalumma Agra, Ulrike Meinhof and Annie Jones among the others, which recurred in Fumai’s works since 2010. These figures, transcending time and space, are all joint by the common sense of rebellion against female oppression, which they express by quoting significant texts and manifestos on the topic.
The second piece, “Dogaressa Elisabetta Querini, Zalumma Agra, Annie Jones, Dope Head, Harry Houdini, Eusapia Palladino read Valerie Solanas” features as protagonists the ones named in the title, all embodied by the artist herself. The characters’ scenes are centred on the “S.C.U.M. Manifesto”, published in 1967 by Valerie Solanas, who ironically calls for a violent overturning of the patriarchy and the establishment of the Society for Cutting Up Men (S.C.U.M.).
- Chiara Fumai, "The Book of Evil Spirits", 2015. Photo by PRed.