Gaia Fugazza was born in Milan, Italy and lives and works in London. Their practice includes painting, sculpture and performance. Alternating between the onlooker, the researcher and the actor, their work explores subjects as disparate as nomadism, agriculture, mobile technology, shamanism and motherhood. Recent exhibitions include Water from the Waist Down, Kunsthall Oslo; Growing Gills, Mimosa House, London; and Present and Distracted, Zabludowicz Collection, London.
In Gaia Fugazza’s work, gestures, routines and objects of quotidian use regularly appear. While they are informed by the ingredients of their own individual life, such as motherhood and femininity, as well as personal observations on forms of entertainment and contemporary history, their organic considerations sample from nature itself. However, Fugazza does not merely showcase their ability to replicate nature, but rather their meditations on the nature of aesthetic mediations. Female identity is being reflected meticulously and occupies a great space in their practice, generating the sensation of vulnerability and creating a strikingly intimate experience for the viewer. They are immediate, yet there is a complexity and ambiguity within.
For the London Baltic Triennial 13 event Bastard Voices, Fugazza presented a reiteration of their recent performative work Other Ways. Taking the loose form of a performance, Fugazza poetically touches upon a number of routines and patterns which are informed by oral fixation and ingestion, subsequently redirecting us to spaces of interiority to the point that reactions of individual bodies become palpable dimensions of the artist’s practice.
As the performance starts, the lights are dimmed lights and participants each receive a small porcelain sculpture to display in their mouth, an act familiar to taking a pill – be it a psychedelic, antidepressant or antibiotic. As the porcelain pieces differ from one another, their structure almost feels like detached teeth, alien structures or dislocated extensions. Bodies react imitating the side effects of those drugs. Vulnerable bodies salivate, distract and adapt. Mouths are numb, communication is cracked. Behind this lies a singular, profound relationship to time, observation and a deep awareness of one’s body in the process of spectating.
Their works are genuinely personal, yet celestially comprehended. Familiarity is always felt. Though everything feels natural, disruption is at the core.