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  • ImagesSelected work, 2004–2017
  • Goldschmied and Chiari

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IMAGE:
Goldschmied & Chiari
NYMPHEAS #37, 2011
Lambda print, 120 cm (diam.)


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IMAGE:
Goldschmied & Chiari
UNTITLED VIEW, 2017
Digital print on glass and glass mirror, 115 × 70 cm

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Goldschmied & Chiari
DUMP QUEEN #1
(triptych panels B and C), 2008
Diasec print, 180 × 180 cm each

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Goldschmied & Chiari
GENEALOGY OF DAMNATIO MEMORIAE 1965–1981, 2009
Two carved living trees, 450 cm (height)Installation view (left); detail (right)
Collection of MACRO (Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma)
Photo: Altrospazio

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Goldschmied & Chiari
NYMPHEAS #12, 2007
Lambda print, 125 × 333 cm
Collection of Michele and Philippe Levy

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IMAGE:
Goldschmied & Chiari
WELCOME, 2004
Sheetrock, plaster, cement, paint, 10 × 1.5 × 2.35 mt
Collection Ugolini
Photo: Gabriele Basilico

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Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari are an artist duo from Italy, working with varied media: photography, video, performance, and installation. They work and live in Milan.

Girls Just wanna have fun: Goldschmied & Chiari's Irreverent Humor

Humor is not a trait for women, even less so for women artists in the Italian art world, where women's creativity has historically focused either on intimacy or on abstraction. In order to be taken into consideration by a male-dominated art scene, women artists working in the Italian peninsula have, since the '70s, consistently been obliged to be extremely serious about their work and its content. This trait can be traced all the way to the present with few exceptions, making Goldschmied & Chiari's (Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari) artistic practice exceptional in its constant employment of a peculiar, irreverent form of humor that functions as subliminal social critique.

Humor used as a strategy to reconsider historical events in a post-ideological form of feminism develops in their work in witty installations that articulate a lucid critique of contemporary society and its relationship to history. Radically distancing themselves from the stereotype of authoritative and earnest feminism, Goldschmied & Chiari turn laughter into a metaphor for transformation. Their images trigger subtle political disruptions, allowing them to delve into the complex history of post-Cold War narratives, offering the public a new understanding of the relationships between the symbolic and the social.

My first encounter with Goldschmied & Chiari's work (goldiechiari at the time) dates back to 2002 when I was working on a large survey show of emerging Italian art, exIT: Nuove geografie della creatività italiana, curated by Francesco Bonami. I was surprised by their work Senza titolo #17 that portrayed in a full-color photograph two girls dressed as if they were in boarding school, in plaid skirts and colored stockings, with long braids, sitting on the floor helping an elderly "grandmother" knitting in her armchair by making a hank of yarn. Looking closer, one sees that the girls were actually adolescents trapped in a parody that the artists further highlighted by installing in front of the photo what looked like a gigantic ball of yarn but was actually a sphere made of 1,500 cm of barbed wire (Sfera, 2002). The "tableau vivant" quality of the image made it both funny and critical, as visitors could relate as much to the stereotyped enactment of women's domestic roles as to the artists' rebellious desire. Instead of relegating their creativity to the domestic sphere, these "mischievous little girls" had wound a menacing barbed-wire ball that evoked Italy's recent past of social unrest and urban guerrillas. The assumption of ironic activist alter egos in one way referenced feminist practices of the '70s, yet at the same time seemed to mock the violence associated with protest and its success. [End Page 116]

This type of atmosphere linked to city barricades and acts of protest is the inspiration for a large...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6539
Print ISSN
0300-7162
Pages
pp. 47-120
Launched on MUSE
2018-04-20
Open Access
No
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