Chiara Fumai

The performative practice of Italian artist Chiara Fumai (°1978) belongs to the tradition of female psychics, who are ‘spoken by’ different controversial entities, which the artist freely (mis)interprets and combines into new stories, questioning their symbolic meaning and representation in the mind of the viewer. Fumai lives and works in Milan. Dealing with radical feminism, media culture, language and repression, her light-esoteric and symbolic performances and visual art have garnered international acclaim.

The Book Of Evil Spirits

ink and collage on paper, mixed media, video, 26′ 24″
Commissioned and coproduced by CONTOUR 7

The characters appearing in Chiara Fumai’s installation are all remarkable historical figures. Beside the fact they all are women, they appear to have little else in common. Among them are feminist activists, writers, terrorists, freaks and occult mediums. The key figure in this eccentric company is Eusapia Palladino. This early twentieth century Italian peasant woman became well known as a spiritualist medium possessed by mysterious powers. Many of the greatest authorities in science, from psychologists to physicists, attempted to verify her claims to mystic faculties. Was she truly remarkable, or simply an imposter? The ambiguity of this mysterious figure is the central attraction for Chiara Fumai.