Performance, Event

17 November 2022, 6:00pm ET

Vanessa Parent

Conjuring Resonance: Scrying Feminist Pasts 

“I can’t break with my resignation and subordination (…) if I don’t find in other women as well my desire to get out, to attack, to destroy…”
Anonymous Anarcho-Feminist, Italy, 1979 

Art historian Vanessa Parent elaborates on the metaphor of the scryer in Aimée Zito Lema’s exhibition through the work of Italian performance artist and conjurer of feminist pasts, Chiara Fumai. In her performances and installations, Fumai has channeled the subversive spirits of figures such as Italian separatist feminist Carla Lonzi, German terrorist Ulrike Meinhof, and socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxembourg. Using the language of refusal and rage mobilized through occult aesthetics and practices such as channeling and conjuring, Fumai’s work has brought the spirit of feminist insurrection into the contemporary moment.

This participatory event is anchored by alternative forms of knowledge transmission and modes of annotation present in the work of Fumai and Zito Lema. Attending to the temporal collapse implied by practices such as scrying, channeling, and conjuring, this event explores the productive potential of finding resonance with overlooked histories to disrupt and expand our view of the present and imagine possible futures. Participants will activate the event through sounded reading, a channeling and annotation exercise, and a group discussion. Registrants to this in-person event are asked to bring a photograph or object that enlivens marginalized histories with which they experience a certain resonance.


Vanessa Parent is an art historian of Modern and Contemporary art specializing in performance, the body and feminist/decolonial theories of sex and gender. She is a lecturer at Concordia University in Montréal and a member of the College Art Association’s committee on Women in Arts. Her research on the recuperation of Italian feminist thought of the 1970s in contemporary feminist art practices has been generously supported by the Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome.

Resonance and Transmission is organized by a group of curators, writers and researchers based in London, Montréal, Toronto, and Amsterdam interested in overlooked feminist histories and generational processes of knowledge transmission, comprising Giulia Damiani , Gabrielle Moser , Vanessa Parent and Helena Reckitt.

fORUM: Vanessa Parent is the last in a series of four events guest programmed by Resonance and Transmission that extend on the themes of the exhibition Aimée Zito Lema: Scryer in the Archive.

About the Series

fORUM is Mercer Union’s ongoing series of talks, lectures, interviews, screenings, and performances.