Olga Olivera-Tabeni. Here, the seed, the Mycelium of Disobedience! Eight bags of Ganoderma lucidum, texts, voices, and headphones. Voices: Mireia Freixas Torras, Paula Honrubia, and Ares Piqué. Texts by the author. QR codes and photographs with a binocular loupe and microscope. 2020-21.
Photography: Edu Pedrocchi, Jordi V. Pou i Olga Olivera-Tabeni
Piece for MULTISPECIES IMAGINARIES: THE ART OF LIVING IN A CONTINGENT, UNCERTAIN WORLD, curated by Christian Alonso. La Capella, Barcelona, 2022. La Panera, Lleida, 2023.
Olga Olivera-Tabeni, Here the Seed, the Mycelium of Disobedience!, 2021-2022. A series of eight stories that explore the social life of fungi. Following anthropologist Anna Tsing, we could define fungi as non-totalisable multiplicities that invite us to develop an anti-capitalist, collaborative thought and practice based on solidarity, care and the flourishing with other species. Olga Olivera understands storytelling as a tool to make our collective existence more sensitive and to build non-anthropocentric perceptions
of the beings that inhabit the planet. Drawing on situated experiences and research, ecofeminist methodologies and practices of listening and mapping environmental processes, the artist articulates stories in which human beings remain intertwined in dense networks of material-semiotic exchanges with other beings. In Multispecies Imaginaries, Olga Olivera sonifies eight spatio-temporal narratives that combine speculative practice, ethnographic chronicle, political theory, historical memory and literary criticism. Each connected to growbags of a species of mushroom known as maitake (Grifola frondosa), the artist imagines other past, present and future realities, and echoes Haraway’s leitmotif: “it matters [...] what thoughts think thoughts, what descriptions describe descriptions, what ties tie ties. It matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories.” (Haraway, 2016, 66).
By traversing-mapping-feeling different surroundings, beings, agencies and mutations, Olivera sensitises the vibration of matter and warns us that, like mushrooms, we can only survive if we cooperate among humans and with other species. Her visions, sensations, reflections and reconfigurations invite us to strengthen practices of care for the others, maintaining and repairing our damaged world so that we can live as well as possible.
This entails understanding that our bodies are always intertwined with other creatures with which we form a complex web of life-sustaining co-dependence.
Text by Christian Alonso. Curator of the exhibition, "Multispecies Imaginaries: The Art of Living in a Contingent, Uncertain World" for which the piece was created.
A story of eight living fungi and their corresponding mycelia unleashes eccentric tales and reflections on the relationships we establish with these living beings, challenging human supremacy while proposing a deconstructive, decentralized, horizontal, decolonizing, and anticapitalist action.
Disregarded and concealed, mushrooms have always been. And, for no small reason, Carl Linnaeus would eliminate them from his Systema naturae, dubbing them directly the realm of chaos.
Here the seed, the Mycelium of Disobedience! They all speak; from hairy, bearded heads like anti-system mushrooms we cannot contain, to black liquified bodies that they are, yet strangely endowed with the ability to generate art, as if they were libertarian trickles, acts of painting. Or the imperfect fungi, or truffles, or the oceanic masses like Sally from Lou Reed's song "Ride Sally Ride".
Yet also spoken of are matsutake, the mushroom of contradiction, within this new economy of shipwreck. Or "Ganoderma lucidum", the tinder fungi, or other wood-dwelling fungi, authentic devourers that could become guerrilla weapons, anticapitalist anarchists, chewing up our consumerist society, every yearning for ownership.
Here the seed, the Mycelium of disobedience! also works from becoming. From the Kafkaesque idea of metamorphosis, or references to Moebius, to Rosi Braidotti, with the perhaps illusory, utopian, and eccentric notion of someday becoming a true fungal becoming.