Kyuri Jeon’s Born, Unborn, and Born Again explores tradition, violence, bodily autonomy, and the complex discourse surrounding abortion in the artist’s native Korea. Rather than cast the debate in the familiar polarizing tones, however, Jeon presents us with a wide range of perspectives. This deeply personal piece finds new ways of challenging us to consider the oppression that women’s bodies are subjected to.
Internal and external conflicts collide with questions about the value of heritage and belonging. As the artist explains, “Born, Unborn, and Born Again revolves around my struggle to embody the white horse, a zodiac sign which occurs every sixty-year cycle in East Asian countries . . . an untold history resurfaces in the present, and reorients us towards the future.”
A video chat with Jeon’s mother, a demonstration in Seoul, a claustrophobic airplane bathroom—the various locations and formats underscore the importance of translation in the film. We are guided through these oppositional worlds by the artist’s careful narration, sometimes in Korean, sometimes in English. Through stark unaltered images, Jeon weaves a tapestry of intimate scenes to form a complex and honest work.
Following Monday’s premiere, join the artist and Lino Kino in conversation on Wednesday, September 9.