Galeria Vera Cortês is proud to present “…an adventure in which humans are only one kind of participant…”, the new solo exhibition by Gabriela Albergaria.
The work Gabriela Albergaria presents in this exhibition springs from the chromatic, alchemical and structural instability of nature as a force to question how human and non-human living beings modify nature — much like it changes them (and us) — as entities who live in a condition of emphatical sharing while trying to avoid a forecasted apocalypse.
In most artistic productions, the limits between landscape and nature are porous. However, in Gabriela Albergaria’s oeuvre everything is nature. It is precisely in the space where landscape becomes inventive that one finds her will to create, in the words of Anne Cauquelin, “a sedimented cultural object with its own function, which is to continually provide us with the reference frames for our perception of time and space.” Nature, for its part, avoids this objectification; what it presents us is neither obvious nor stable. In fact, we owe it to nature’s congenial (and unknown) instabilities that these fields have grown into one of the most prolific outcrops of artistic thought.
In this visual and plastic fiction, which can be identified both as a personal belief and scientific research, the artist invites the spectator to rethink the metanarratives and the macrostructures that govern the contemporary status quo in all its fundamental axes: social, economic, cultural, technical, technological, etc. However, rather than an anticipation of planetary collapse, the artist insinuates an artistic universe populated by regenerative forces, based on a subjective ecology whose desideratum is both aesthetic and ethical. At the centre of this universe, we find the Earth regenerated by soil.
The title of the show — “… an adventure in which humans are only one kind of participant…” — is a fragment from Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s book The Mushroom at the End of the World, an exploration of the capacity of mushrooms and other fungi to revitalize the soil, giving it new life in a post human future.
Far from fictional, this thesis is a good example of the diversity and optimism of the voices of the Anthropocene: as a warning, an alarm, awareness, action and moderation. This exhibition by Gabriela Albergaria reveals an ecology (which also pertains to the visual) in constant metamorphosis, a suspension of time that corresponds to a future possibility, an occupation of space that expands it into real alternatives. It confronts us with a fictitious pre-mediation that makes us want to be progressively less human, in a moment in which humanity is increasingly techno-normative. After all, fiction is just what we are not prepared to believe.