The Weed in Your Garden | Anahita Norouzi


Residency from February, 14th to April 10th, 2022
At Ada X

Heracleum persicum is a plant species native to Iran which can measure from 2 to 5 meters tall. The species was first recorded in Europe in 1817, likely introduced as an ornamental plant. It became fashionable thanks to its large size and vigorous growth. One of the places it could be found was Buckingham Palace, suggesting it was gifted to the Royal Family as a desirable and rare specimen. Today it can be found in Canada as well, but it is classified as an invasive species and treated as a troublesome weed. In Iran it continues to be viewed as a species with both medicinal and culinary value.

H. Persicum is one of the plants Anahita Norouzi will use in the development, during her residency at Ada X, of an AR (Augmented Reality) application displaying animated 3D plants. The residency work belongs to a larger project investigating the relationships between humans, plants, and place. In Norouzi’s long-term research into botany, colonial politics, and experiences of displacement, she uses displaced plants and their classifications as “foreign and invasive species” to explore the ecological and social dimensions of migration in Canada. Through the linguistic similarities between how colonial institutions classify and control plant life and human migration, Norouzi traces the diminished categories of life enforced under colonial systems. In doing so, she also insists on her own presence, material and metaphorical, in a new place.