Growing Gills


Growing Gills is conceived by artists Joana Escoval and Gaia Fugazza; writer Agnieszka Gratza, curator Daria Khan and photographer Giovanna Silva.

Growing Gills reconsiders our understanding of human descent and imagines an aquatic future. It explores, among other things the use of psychedelic plants in Mediterranean witchcraft, alchemical experiments with the transmutation of metals, fictional accounts of journeys to the underworld, and volcanic swimming as a species of meditation and a way of courting danger.

Download the Press Release (PDF, 110KB)

Text: Agnieszka Gratza, Pearls of Snœfellsnes (PDF, 115KB).

Daria Khan

Daria Khan is an independent curator, who graduated from the Curating Contemporary Art MA at the Royal College of Art, London. Her exhibitions and projects about freedom, feminism, body and levitation appeared at the Austrian Cultural Forum, London, Photographers Gallery, London, Freiraum 21 International, MuseumsQuartier Vienna; the 5th Moscow Biennial, Moscow; Spazio Carbonesi, Bologna. Co-curated exhibitions and projects took place at the Royal College of Art, London; Bloomberg New Contemporaries Film Salons, ICA, London. Contributed as a speaker at the Exhibitions’ Histories Symposium, 2014 at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Daria was a curator in residency at the MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, 2015 and a participant of EUNIC programme at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2016.

Giovanna Silva

Giovanna Silva is an Italian photographer born in Milano in 1980, where she currently lives and works. Silva holds a Master of Science in Architecture from Politecnico di Milano and a Masters in Cultural Anthropology, Ethnology, Ethnolinguistics from Università Foscari, Venezia. Photographs are to Silva an instrument to build a narrative. Her work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions, including the International Architecture Exhibition (Venezia), Villa Romana in Firenze, NGBK in Berlin, MACRO, Rome, Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen and the Biennials of Istanbul and Thessaloniki. In 2012 Silva established her own publishing house, Humboldt Books and she is also founder of San Rocco magazine as well as part of the collectives Desertmed and 900 km Nile City. Silva teaches Photography at NABA Milano.

Agnieszka Gratza

Agnieszka Gratza's writings about art, performance and film have appeared in Frieze, Artforum, Mousse, Sight & Sound, Metropolis M, and the Financial Times, among other. Her written work often stems from live art and performance: she has collected dreams during an artist residency at a hotel, staged tableaux vivants of the Annunciation, and made a series of edible artworks using saffron. More recently, she has been chasing after volcanoes — from Santorini to São Miguel in the Azores — for a book of volcanic swims.

Joana Escoval

Joana Escoval lives and works in Lisbon. A selection of exhibitions and projects include Transmissions from the Etherspace, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2017; Si sedes non is, curated by Milovan Farronato, The Breeder, Athens, 2017; Canibalia, redux, Hangar, Lisbon, 2017; I will go where I don’t belong ⁄ Volcano Extravaganza, Fiorucci Art Trust, Stromboli, 2016; I forgot to go to school yesterday, Kunsthalle Lissabon and Kunsthalle Tropical, Iceland, 2016; Lichens Never Lie, La Criée Centre d’Art Contemporain, Rennes, 2016; Matter Fictions, Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon, 2016; The lynx knows no boundaries, Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris, 2015; Europe, Europe, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, 2014.

Gaia Fugazza

Gaia Fugazza lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include; Present and Distracted, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2016, Studiolo #9, Spazio Cabinet, Milan, Shiki-nen Sengu, Nuova Icona, Venice, both 2013. In the past two years, her work was exhibited in Glasstress 2017, Fondazione Berengo, Venice, Au-delà de l’image III, Galery Escougnou-Cetraro, Paris, The 61 Salon de Montrouge, Montrouge, Memorie, Villa Manin, Passaria-no, Mediterranea, Young Artists Biennale, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, The London Open 2015, Whitechapel Gallery, London; Hrm199 Ltd, Museum Tinguely, Basel, and Studio Voltaire Open 2015, Studio Voltaire, London and Susy Culinski and friends, Fanta Spazio, Milan.