Touch me not,
Forget me not
Estufa Fria de Lisboa 15 Feb - 17 March 2024, Lisbon, Portugal
Artist talk 18/2.
The human fingers on Mimosa leaves make them curl, withdraw. Their name relates to shame, shyness and
resembling. An organism with flexing muscles also named Touch me not. They briefly recall a name they once had
before,Touch me not. Another plant, Myosotis or Forget me not, works well against muscle pain. The muscle memory
of its root lingers and reverberates through subtle shivers on its petals for generations. They briefly remember a
name they once had before, Forget me not.
Materials: silkscreen prints of analog photographs made in botanical gardens in Lisbon and depictions of the human body in contexts of care, combined with embroidery, jute, synthetic hair embroidery, and fabrics dyed with spices, fruits, and plants.
The title alludes to two plants extracted from their natural habitat, Mimosa and Myosotis, also known as Touch Me Not and Forget Me Not. These plants are featured in the book Systema Naturae, written by Carl Linnaeus in 1735, where he classified species, plants, and minerals into gender, location, and Latin names. The work explores the interplay between colonial history, botany, and identity, and aims to reflect on how nature historically has been regarded as a passive backdrop to human events, depicted in paintings and tapestries before the advent of photography. Both tapestries and quilts are age-old human, tangible means of artistic expression and storytelling. The irregular aspects of the patchwork explore rearrangement and the space in between categories. An aesthetic dualism hints at aspects of mimicry. Empty areas of the quilt may be interpreted as a tribute to forgotten names and cultures. A rhythmic pulse is echoed on the human wrist as well as in the cosmos. Plants and spines grow in unforeseen directions, revealing subtle hints of animality and sensuality, while the hegemonic pose is still present.
Similar to a blanket, the malleable material of the quilt symbolises both comfort and protection for the body. It can also be seen as a performative backdrop in which the viewer becomes a participating actor. Are we the protagonists in this scenario?