Chiara

Fumai

Milano, 1978

I Did Not Say or Mean 'Warning' | 2013 EV

I Did Not Say or Mean 'Warning', 2013 EV
approx. 40'
Courtesy: Fondazione Furla and Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice

Transformed into a museum guide of the Querini Stampalia Foundation, the artist introduces all the female portraits in the historical collection (from XVI to XIX century), narrating the background of the history of art through the women portrayed and by the anonymity of their biographies. The narration of the guide is interrupted by messages transmitted through LIS (International Sign Language) containing the anonymous terrorist threat left on the answering machine of a feminist group affiliated with the Armed Struggle.

[...] The reading is not neutral, from the words of the guide there is a particular  participation which involves the characters represented, above all the female characters,  revealing secrets which had never before been revealed. That of Nicolosia, for example, sold by her father to Mantegna for twenty ducats, represented in the painting Presentation in the Temple (1438-40) , one of the many invisible women who seek revenge. An initial act of justice takes place right here in the museum thanks to the particular “cicerone”, in which we can see not only the artist but also a terrorist who pronounces mute words of threat. The face of Fumai is changed as is her body, miming in gestures the anger of a double violence, that suffered by Nicolosia and that of the  anonymous executioner, a militant feminist screaming her protest.  The artist, guide and terrorist blend together in a single figure from whom the public feel the strength and see in a different way the works displayed through her eyes and through her words.  Looking at “Giuditta” (1517 circa) painted by Vincenzo Catena, another truth comes to light: Rosa da Scardona painted to represent Giuditta is the painter's concubine and, speaking through  Chiara Fumai, she expresses her doubts and reveals herself as an individual outside the interpretation in which history has placed her, free to become a person different from the character that has, for centuries, trapped her within her cage [...]




 

A review about I Did Not Say or Mean 'Warning' can be found on Exibartonpaper






 

 



 

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