Chiara Camoni / Deux soeurs
curated by Alice Motard
25 June - 3 October 2021
CAPC - Musée d’Art Contemporain
7 Rue Ferrere
Photography by Camilla Maria Santini
Courtesy of Arcade, London & Bruxelles and SpazioA, Pistoia
The work of Chiara Camoni, which comprises drawings, sculptures, videos and installations, materialises in the domestic sphere and characteristically results from collective experiences.
Since her studies at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, Camoni has allowed art to penetrate every aspect of her life – or rather has turned her life into a simultaneously communal and introspective form of art. Drawing on a tradition that ranges from Arte Povera to regional crafts, she makes art from natural materials (clay, wood, plants, wool) that she collects around Fabbiano, the mountain village in Tuscany where she lives and works surrounded by her family and friends. For many years, her studio assistant was her own grandmother, whom she asked to make one drawing a day until her death to overcome her ‘melancholy’. Her kitchen and garden are routinely used for ceramic workshops, where friends and children from the neighbou¬rhood gather to work with their hands and engage in conversations. Letting go and intuition are two key opera¬ting principles in the artist’s work. Ancestral knowledge and vernacular know-how, and the way in which they are trans¬mitted from one generation to the next, are at the heart of her daily practice, which takes inspiration from the eco- and cyberfeminist theories of philosophers such as Donna Haraway or Rosi Braidotti, two tutelary figures whose writings Camoni likes to share during public readings.
The exhibition at Capc looks back on the artist’s career over the past fifteen years, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in her cooperative and ‘situated’ (Haraway) practice. Unfolding in two mirroring parts in the ground-floor galleries, it is staged as a reconstruction of a private interior, playing with the uses generally assigned to the different rooms of a house (bedroom, living room, kitchen, workshop, office, etc.). Each of these functions is embodied by works – including plant prints on silk forming a tent, a floor of terracotta slabs with kaleidoscopic patterns or a sculpture made of ceramic and burning candles – that have been arranged so as to echo each other across the two wings of the exhibition space. The display reflects on time passing and the way it transforms the perception of the space according to the time of day.
Camoni’s exhibition takes visitors on a journey through a body of work that sublimates everyday life and repetition, an organic art whose forms are renewed every morning, inhabit every moment of the day and revert to a state of stillness as night falls.