We mourn the passing of the performance artist and former DAI-student and later tutor, Chiara Fumai (Rome, 1978 - Bari, 2017). "And how Death is that remedy all singers dream of".*
Yesterday we received the terribly sad news of Chiara Fumai's passing away on the 16th of August in the city of Bari where she was preparing for an exhibition.
We are heartbroken to say farewell to an extraordinary, lucid and passionate artist, whose performative practice she herself described as belonging to the tradition of female psychics, who are 'spoken by' different controversial entities. Entities which Chiara freely (mis)interpreted and combined into new stories, while questioning their symbolic meaning and representation in the mind of the viewer.
Fumai's starting point always was performance, later transformed into installations, videos, collages and performative displays. From her 100-days performative contribution "Shut up. Actually Talk" (in which a nineteenth-century Vaudeville actress and human curiosity, welcomes visitors inside a bizarre display dedicated to Modern Dialectical Philosophy and is demonically "spoken by" the radical feminist manifesto "I say I" by Rivolta Femminile, 1977) to "dOCUMENTA (13)" onward, her artistic career skyrocketed. In 2013 Chiara was the winner of the ninth edition of the Furla Art Award and her work was widely exhibited and performed ever since.
As a DAI-tutor Chiara's empowering skills immediately struck. We were also struck by her generosity towards our program. Not only had she actively managed to maintain most of the friendships that originated in her year as a student, she had also become something like a part-time ambassador for the DAI.
Chiara's glowing warmth, the outrageous fun, the striking elegance and the wild exuberance of her kaleidoscopic personality all co-existed with her sadness and spleen. We love you as you are, Chiara and we always will.
*from Allen Ginsberg's 'Kaddish'