"In Malva field, submerged, Alice dos Reis (Lisboa, 1995) has imagined a near-future scenario where a generalized E.coli epidemic is met by a group of women who care for the afflicted by collectively treating seemingly disparate bodies of water, ourselves and the oceans, with a genetically engineered version of mallow flower—traditionally used to appease symptoms of E.coli infections—gardened underwater. (...)
Malva field, submerged asserts dos Reis’ commitment to the poetics and practice of ‘critical fabulation,’ a term introduced by the Black scholar Saidiya Hartman to reveal gaps and silences in the wake and power of the archive through the combined forces of historical research with critical theory and fictional narrative. In the ongoing struggle against patriarchy, speciesism, and climate change, dos Reis’ work contributes a broader, multidimensional understanding of what means to be human, bearing the question: how might a feminist politics look like from the perspective of the microbiome?"
Excerpt of the exhibition text