Milano, 1978

Shut Up, Actually Talk | 2012 - 2013 EV

Shut Up, Actually Talk, 2012 - 2013 EV
(words by Rivolta Femminile (Female Revolt), 1977)
Courtesy: originally conceived for dOCUMENTA13, Kassel 2012










[...] A few years ago, Chiara Fumai, a young Italian artist born in 1978, reread another essay by Carla Lonzi provocatively entitled Sputiamo su Hegel (Let’s spit at Hegel), which was published for the first time in 1970. In the first lines of the book, Lonzi stressed that “female problem means the relationship between every woman ? lacking power, history, culture, a role and every man his power, his history, his culture, his absolute role”. 


To Lonzi, this “absolute” meant a historical and cultural feature that was deep-rooted into the closed and self-referential forms of all philosophical, ethical and ontological absolutes. History, social institutions such as family, war and subjectivity subordinating others emerged in Lonzi’s book as the cultural features from which a woman could “de-culturalise” herself, that is to say refuse the historical forms imposed by the absolute and dominating identity, through motherhood (when a profound relationship occurs).


Lonzi’s thoughts seemed to be advocating a dialogue praxis capable not only of shaking this ancient model but also of deconstructing it. Fumai’s starting point is a shift from the I to the we and a research on feminist and female identity which is inevitably a gender and cultural research in progress. Fumai’s perspective could be summed up by paraphrasing a historic and crucial statement made by Simone de Beauvoir (back in 1949): “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman and a subject”. Through her visionary and multi-faceted consciousness which does not cease when confronted with all that may seem unnatural, absurd and at times almost bordering on cruel folly, Fumai attempts to interpret historical characters and shifts her own identity to other characters, as if playing in front of a mirror not with her own reflection but with other stories and experiences belonging to the past.

Here the self-portrait even comes together and then is broken up, placing itself on the fragile boundaries of psyche, history and collective memory. With ingenious irony, Fumai puts herself in the shoes of dangerous characters, or at least psychic consciousnesses which are fragile, unstable, traumatic or traumatising.[...] 


Carla Subrizi in Between Révolte and Self-Portrait: the self is always something else (link)



Shut Up, Actually Talk, 2012 - 2013 EV
(one channel video, color, sound, English)
looped 10':32
Courtesy: view of the installation at A Palazzo gallery

A ghostly materialization of the performance created for dOCUMENTA13, 'Shut Up, Actually Talk' features the freak show performer Zalumma Agra pronouncing ‘I Say I’ (Io dico Io), an extremely beautiful and complex philosophical manifesto about the deconstruction of the Self, which was written by Carla Lonzi and Rivolta Femminile (Female Revolt, Italian feminist group) in 1977. 



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