Chiara Puntil Sélavy
artist- traveller- film critic – feminist
Chiara Sélavy is the nom d’art of Chiara Puntil. She was born in a multilingual family and grew up speaking Spanish, Italian and Friulian (the language of the place where she was born). She started learning English when she was eight, French when she was fourteen and German when she was sixteen. Aged seventeen, she left language school and moved to a place where the official languages are English and Mandarin, but the most spoken one is Cantonese. At nineteen she moved to the place that invented English. It is also the place where, ironically, the only English you’ll hear if you catch the Tube will most likely be “The next station is Waterloo”.
Obviously enough, language is also the subject of most of her work. She hasn’t always intended it to be, but at some point she realised there’s no running away from it. Even some of her earlier work, which she thought had nothing to do with it, appeared to have elements in common with those centred upon issues of language or translation- or it might just be her impression.
When she’s not blubbering about- you guessed it- language, she uses it to write about film, art and anything worth talking about.