Monday July 18, 7:30pm
Chiara Fumai: Channeling Jack Smith and Valerie Solanas
Live performance and performance video

Chiara Fumai image

Still from Chiara Fumai’s “Chiara Fumai reads Valerie Solanas” (2013) – Image courtesy of the artist

Microscope is very pleased to welcome Milan-based artist Chiara Fumai for her New York debut with a special evening of performance works live and on video.

For the US premiere of her performance “There Is Something You Should Know”, Fumai initiates the audience as the secret society SIS (Scuola Iniziatica Smithiana) in the form of an esoteric gnostic group seminar, in an attempt to bring back the spirit of the underground cinema pioneer Jack Smith, and channel one of his obscure performances through subconscious time-travel. The piece, which also involves slide projection, lucid dreaming practices, and audio from Smith’s “Flaming Creatures”, stems from a mysterious performance – title unknown – that Jack Smith staged in 1981 in Genova, Italy, allegedly inspired by the idea of Socialism as presented by Western culture and thought of as a way to pay for his return ticket to New York.

The night also includes a screening of Fumai’s performance for the video camera “Chiara Fumai reads Valerie Solanas”, in which the artist recites from the “Society for Cutting Up Men Manifesto” by Valerie Solanas (1967) sitting before a wall on which is hung in large characters the line “A male artist is a contradiction in terms”. Fumai – whose work often comments on the current status of the female in relation to popular and controversial figures from our recent past – here satirically draws parallels to Silvio Berlusconi’s first televised political announcement.


There Is Something You Should Know, 2016
Live performance by Chiara Fumai, approx. 35-40 minutes

Chiara Fumai reads Valerie Solanas, 2013
single-channel HD video, color, sound, 10 minutes 34 seconds

Admission $6
Students w/ valid ID $5
Free for Members!

Chiara Fumai (Rome, 1978) is an Italian artist known for performative and multi-media works featuring cold reading, anti-spectacle strategies and counter-cultural icons. In 2013 she participated in dOCUMENTA(13) with a one-hundred-day performative freak show based on Italian radical feminist literature (“Moral Exhibition House”, 2012), channeled the spirit of an Anonymous Woman in the historical art collection of the Querini Stampalia Foundation in Venice (“I Did Not Say or Mean ‘Warning'”, 2013), and created a fictional propaganda of Solanas’ S.C.U.M. Manifesto mirroring the first political campaign of Silvio Berlusconi (“Chiara Fumai reads Valerie Solanas”, 2013), for which she received the IX Furla Art Award. On occasion of “Contour 7”, The Biennial of Moving Image, she has rewritten the story of her live acts into a seance (“The Book of Evil Spirits”, 2015). Her work has been exhibited and screened at the Venice Film Festival, Venice, Italy (2009), Jeu de Paume, Paris, France (2011), dOCUMENTA(13), Kassel, Germany (2013), Overgarden Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark (2013), Museon Arts Park, Moscow, Russia (2013), Fiorucci Art Trust, London, UK (2014), MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome, Italy (2014), Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2014), Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil (2016), among others. Chiara Fumai lives and works in Milan, Italy.

Microscope Gallery Events Series 2016 is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
With the underwriting support of the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation.

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