a herbarium of unborn plants
What makes a plant be considered an invasive plant?
Who is in the power to define it as such?
And how does this plant invade, with what purpose?
What sins does she have to commit to deserve such a rank?
Not to mention the way in which weeds are seen by endemics…
Do they have names that they attribute to them as a form of mockery and cursing? Are these names forbidden words among tangles of roots? Are there even such power relations under our feet?
In a world where no one is stepping on their stems anymore, plants laugh at such speculations… in their eternal peace.
a herbarium of unborn plants, the fourth solo exhibition by Margarida Andrade and the first at Galeria Fonseca Macedo, continues her investigation into the relationship between human beings and plants, begun when she created her book, The 10th Island, released in September 2022.
In this particular exhibition, Margarida focuses her attention on the way in which we humans decide to classify plants, distributing them into categories according to their origin and place of residence.
Through this analysis, the artist returns to reflect on the place that human beings occupy on the Planet, demystifying the superior position that, sometimes, they seem to believe they have. Margarida Andrade invites us, once again, to imagine a distant future where plants contradict the statutes once attributed to them by humans, ridiculing these terms for the limitations they represent.
Already distant from the failed attempts at domination by anthropocentric humans, these unborn plants lead Margarida to raise yet another question related to the position that migrants occupy in society. The artist therefore creates a parallelism between the invasive-endemic binarism and the binarisms associated with migrants, encouraging reflection on the issues raised by their status and reception process.
Even so, despite the artist’s attempt to propose an alternative perspective to the anthropocentric one, the title of this exhibition, by including the concept of herbarium – another tool created by humans – shows the difficulty that this proposal represents.
In the end, the experience of putting ourselves in the shoes of plants in order to understand their desires, to read their thoughts, will never stop being just this: an experience.