Heliconia I

Charlotte Heninger

from 05 to 28 October 2021

Hall - Cité internationale des arts
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We are essential to each other, in real time. During our lifetime, we borrow atoms, cells and bacteria… Symbiotic fusions generate chimeras, an interspecies dependency. Symbiosis is a mutually beneficial, or perhaps parasitic, relationship between two living organisms. Endosymbiosis is a type of symbiosis in which one organism lives embedded in the cells of the other. From the periphery to the centre, one is contained within the other. The forms of hybridisation that affect human and non-human collectives at birth create a world that other worlds overlap. An organism is able both to transform its environment and to be transformed by it. The primary engine of evolution. Matrilineality. Adaptability. My reflections are turned towards what keeps communities together through rituals, myths and symbioses. Exchanges and porosity between different worlds are inherent to our tribe/species.


Our saliva, their sap embodies the emergence and extinction of organisms. What is the limit of our reign? Are we immortal, in perpetual reactivation? Fluids keep us alive - for it is life that is at the heart of the question here. Cycles beyond our understanding enter into resonance, moving between sudden appearances and disappearances.


Other sexualities, other worlds. Humidity. Lethal temperatures.


– An excerpt from the text by Charlotte Heninger accompanying ENDOSYMBIOTIC DREAMS, an exhibition at the Galerie du Crous in Paris (September 2021).


With Heliconia I, Charlotte Heninger presents her perspective on our interiorities, species and genres: a futuristic form of animism. Heliconias are the archetypal tropical flower; they seem to tell the story of the traces of a ritual, a vegetal ouroboros discovered during an expedition through the jungle in the Darién Gap in the Guna Yala indigenous province of Panama.



Charlotte Heninger (France) is in residency at the Cité internationale des arts as part of the Association des Anciens Élèves de l'École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs programme.