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 neighbourhood gather to work with their hands and engage in conversations. Letting go and intuition are two key operating principles in the artist’s work. Ancestral knowledge and vernacular know-how, and the way in which they are transmitted 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 looks back on the artist’s career over the past fifteen years, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in her cooperative and ‘situated’ (Haraway) practice. 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, terrace, 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 reflect 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.
Chiara Camoni was born in 1974 in Piacenza, Italy. She lives and works in Fabbiano, a mountain village on the Versilian coast in northern Tuscany. Her work has most recently been presented in solo exhibitions at MOSTYN, Llandudno, Wales, and the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, UK (both in 2019). In 2020–21, she participated in Fuori, the 17th Rome Quadriennale at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, and in the exhibition Artifices instables. Histoires de céramiques at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – Villa Sauber.
Chiara Camoni is represented by Arcade, London & Brussels, and SpazioA, Pistoia.
Curator: Alice Motard
The exhibition at CEAAC is co-produced together with the Capc Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux.