Ghosts: Memory, Desire, Power and Loss at Rossmut Gallery, Rome

Chiara Fumai, The Book of Evil Spirits, 2015

Rossmut Gallery
will host from 3 May until 30 June 2017 the group show GHOSTS: MEMORY DESIRE POWER AND LOSS, curated by Elisa Fulco and Antonio Leone. The three female artists invited, Chiara Fumai, Agne Raceviciute and Anila Rubiku, tell us the ghostly value of their works through three site-specific installations, suspended between memory, dream and descent into the unconscious.

The ghosts that roam the works of the artists take the form of the female spirits evoked in the mediumistic sessions of Chiara Fumai in the video  “The Book of Evil Spirits” and also of the imaginary character created by Agne Racevicute in the project divided into chapter “Schutriebe”, suspended between reality and fiction, conscious and unconscious writing. Furthermore, they take the form of the erased faces of the dictators presented by Anila Rubiku in the etchings and videos Effacing Memory, as well as of the death masks in the installation “This is the end… my Friends”. Ghost is also the name of the monotype used by the artist: the drawing printed as a unique exemplar that gradually consumes itself as it is out of ink.

The works exhibited function as real storytelling devices that invite the spectator to find a sense and a meaning. Through different mediums (drawing, collage, printmaking, video and photography) these artworks deal with the themes of power and memory, of the illusory character of passed down things and of everything that, even when apparently erased or unidentified, keeps on acting in the present showing only its traces.

Chiara Fumai presents the video installation The Book of Evil Spirits (2015), and two new works on paper, where the mediums embody the revolutionary strength of the female power. The artist has chosen in particular Eusapia Palladino, the most notorious medium of the 20th Century consulted by the powerful and intellectuals, as a muse, as an example of a protofeminist figure capable of controlling science and male subjugation through letters and messages from the beyond.

The video is a kind of catalogue of Chiara Fumai’s performances as well as an homage to the marginal female figures who contributed to social revolutions and change by making their diversity visible and acceptable: from the writer and activist Ulrike Meinhof, to Annie Jones “the bearded lady” and the philosopher Carla Lonzi.

Agne Raceviciute presents the project in progress Schautriebe, the word used for the first time by Freud to combine the SCHAU point of view with the TRIEBE beastly instinct. The scopic drive and the “unconscious sight” that make us unaware actors of our history, result from their union.

Schautriebe, that started out as a performance divided into chapters, tells us the descent into darkness of the character staged by the actress Silvia Costa, a kind of totemic figure. The artist shows her thoughts through drawings and black and white photos, cartographies of a dreamlike world whose iconography is barely traced.

Agne Raceviciute, project in progress Schautriebe


Anila Rubiku presents, for the very first time in Italy, the installation Effacing Memory (2013), composed of 12 etchings of dictators portraits (Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao etc.) who shared the passion for collecting art as a guarantee to make the memory of their own story survive. By erasing the image of the dictators –documented in the homonymous videos–, the artist aims to reuse art as a strategy to make us forget them, to reduce the importance and merit of these personalities, in accordance with other stories of erasure in the art history. Furthermore, the artist exhibits 12 monotypes that compose the installation “This is the end…, my Friends” (2016). She reinterprets the death masks that she saw at The Israel Museum of Jerusalem in 2013, which were discovered in the Judean desert and date back 9000 years. A reflection about the distortion made by time, a vision where the masks are rebuilt from memory on the wave of the emotion generated by her meeting with the works of art.

Anila Rubiku, This is the end…, my Friends, 2016


Rossmut Gallery – Via dei Reti, 29/b Rome
Opening Wednesday 3 May 2017, 7-9pm
4 May – 30 June 2017