Irena Lagator Pejović


Means that Can Contribute to the Phytoremediation of Polluted Areas


text installation

changeable dimensions

Courtesy of the artist.

Exhibition/Venue: Irena Lagator Pejović, Expanses of Love, Art Gallery „Nadežda Petrović”, Čačak, Serbia, curated by Patrycja Rylko and Julka Marinković, 2023. 

Photo: Ivan Petrović, Milenko Savović


This artwork deals with the intersection between language, art and science in a form of sentences in the exhibition space. It is shedding light on the facts about vegetation suitable for phytoremediation – the capacity of certain plants to extract heavy metals from the soil and polluted areas. The list contains precise information about the names of species and chemical signs of heavy metals that get extracted from the soil and air by that species. This information is also followed by references, i.e. surnames of scientists who provided these valuable insights and the time they did so.


If art is maybe more useful to understand nature than biology (Emanuele Coccia), then these inscriptions can be understood as an urgency constitution that serves our present and protect our future from us, the inhabitants who became Earth’s most unpleasant and irksome residents (Stefano Mancuso). As the biotope and the living habitat make an inseparable whole, and art is always a reflection of reality, in the global crisis present, the conclusion emerges that the common future is possible only in conditions of peaceful coexistence, our recalibration with bio-culture and our care for the soil, water, air, climate, as well as for each other.


We know that art dealt with different use of the means of representation in classical and in modern programs of art. The former represented reality with these means that are the color,  the plane, the point, the line… while the latter denies the representation of the world and focus only on the means of representation themselves (Peter Weibel). If we look back into at least the past century and through the lens of the still ongoing pandemic, we will see the fragility and suffering for the majority and progress and inventions for the minority. It becomes obvious that, during various ideological crises, culture was instrumentalized to the level of impotence. That is why this installation tries to act here and now by using different means and listens to what the plants have to tell us about our current dissonant, dangerous and drastically changed reality that we have created in such a way that we can barely survive in it.


Therefore, this installation sheds light on a new model of community and symbiosis, in which the role of art to communicate the principles of care, repair and greater reciprocity, is the role of art in a world of united species. (Irena Lagator Pejović)