“Who walks on two, three and four legs?” asked the Sphinx at the entrance to Thebes. The question remains open.
Should we answer “a chair” or “a table,” the beast would certainly be at our throat in no time. We might then venture to attribute the three qualities to her, the Sphinx herself, emphasising a certain versatility with regard to her use of limbs: versatility being common to certain animal and vegetable beings, as well as to the divine. However, this kind of association would risk incurring the wrath of the Sphinx with equally lethal consequences.
Let us avoid calling other species into question. Oedipus’s solution proves to be the most obvious and convincing: the only possible solution, the only one contemplated by the enigma. A human enigma for humans to which there is no other answer but humankind.
Perhaps the real mystery lies here. How can we look at the world from a non-human perspective? How can we understand it from outside our own condition and position?
The words, these words, suggest we remain perpetually trapped in our Anthropocene. That we continue to apply human categories to everything around us, also and even more so when we try to listen to the voice of plants and the thoughts of animals, or when we become attached to a necklace, a cross or a painting. Moved by affection, exoticism, curiosity, mystique, possession and territoriality, or simply out of laziness, we inevitably act within the confines of our language, of our human domain.
A Fool with a Tool, the solo exhibition by Gaia Fugazza in Milan for Case Chiuse HQ, sidesteps the riddle of the Sphinx and sinks into another level of language: that of the body. A body materialised through painting, finding images to fill out once more amid lines and pigments. […]
Full text is available for download >>
by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi
Gaia Fugazza (Milan 1985) lives and works in London. Her practice includes paintings and performance, exploring the troubled relationship of humans and the natural environment, plant knowledge, reproduction and transcendental practices. Solo and duo exhibitions of Fugazza’s work have been held at Richard Saltoun, London; Häusler Contemporary, Zurich; Zabludowicz Collection, London; Gallleriapiù, Bologna. Recent performances include Transcendence, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Super Nature in two Parts, Lisson Gallery, London; Baltic Triennial 13, South London Gallery, London; Star Messenger, LUX, London; Water from the Waist Down, Kunsthall Oslo. Her work has been featured in several Biennales and institutional shows such as the 13 Baltic Triennal, Glasstress, Venice; Mediterranea, Milan; The London Open, Whitechapel Gallery; Hrm 199 Ltd, Tinguely Museum, Basel. Fugazza collaborates with other artists and curators to create alternative ways to present works such as the furniture line with Assemble, the web-site Post from the first Lockdown, the party My Night of Unlimited Favour and Grandine the exhibition program that she hosts in her studio.