LUX presents the first UK solo exhibition by South Korean artist Ellie Kyungran Heo, featuring her latest moving image project Plantarians (2017-2020), in partnership with the London Korean Film Festival.
Ellie Kyungran Heo’s work considers the ethics of coexistence, attending to the underlying environmental conflicts in everyday lives. Her reframing of encounters between humans and nature reveals an intricate web of interdependence and questions anthropocentric perspectives. Punctuated by humour and irony, Heo’s works are filled with social and ecological entanglements, in which the multiplicity of discourse is celebrated.
Heo’s observational approach to documentary is often interposed with staged gestures which hint at the artist’s uncertainty and open-ended curiosity, offering a self-reflexive mode of filmmaking as a way of coexisting. With its distinctive sensitivity and rigour, Heo’s film, as Gareth Evans writes, “resists easy co-option. It resists for a little while the ongoing erasures. It says like all works of worth, ‘this was’, ‘this is’, ‘remember’”.
Plantarians (2017-2020) is a rumination on entangled relationships between humans and plants in urban spaces. Divided into episodes, each follows individuals who cultivate, eat and accompany plants in celebration and grief. These everyday activities become strangely unfamiliar through unhurried attention to the moments of survival and resilience of plants between the cracks, on the peripheries of gardens and within human-made surroundings. The subtle shift in perspective elicits a sense of ambivalence, imagining how plants might endure, interact with and be vulnerable to the interruptions inflicted upon them. Plantarians poses a fundamental question around interdependent relations, both conflicting and intimate, and how we co-inhabit this planet with all living beings.
The exhibition at LUX features a collection of short films, photography and video installation that form the latest iteration of the Plantarians episodes, accompanied by a commissioned essay and related programmes.
6 November – 11 December 2021; Wednesday to Saturday, 12-4pm