Solo exhibition by Chiara Fumaiwaterside contemporary, London, 2016
The Book brings together a number of characters whose narratives Fumai has embodied in her performative practice to date. in creating this catalogue, Fumai enlisted the help of Eusapia Palladino, a 19th century internationally renowned psychic and medium whose séances were attended with conviction by the likes of Nicholas ii of Russia, and Nobel-laureates Marie and pierre Curie.
Participation in the séance requires a departure from the rational and the conscious; by calling on a medium – and becoming one herself – the artist bypasses cultural structures, and her own narrative method it- self. Fumai has borrowed from an array of historical characters, often women in history who from margin- al positions gained recognition for voicing their dis-sent. They have included the writer and activist Ulrike Meinhof, bearded lady Annie Jones, philosopher Carla Lonzi, and indeed Palladino, the artist’s muse. Fumai allows herself to become ‘possessed’ by them, and under the comfortable guise of re-enactment, hijacks their narratives for her own purpose.