Systema Naturae examines displacement, longing for homelands left behind and alienation within new and often hostile environments. The artist reflects on the migrations of plant species with a particular focus on the iris, a source of national pride in Iran, Anahita Norouzi’s ancestral homeland. By scrutinizing the disastrous legacies of colonialism globally, especially in Southwest Asia (or the “Middle East”), the artist sheds light on the ways in which hegemonic powers impact humans and other species alike, altering entire cultural traditions, demographics and ecologies.
For more information read Ci-gisent les iris (‘Here lie the irises’), an essay by cultural worker and writer Valérie Litalien with translation by Laura Demers.
Listen to a podcast conversation with artist Anahita Norouzi and Toronto-based curator Toleen Touq on G44 Digital.
Anahita Norouzi is a multidisciplinary artist originally from Tehran and based in Montreal and holds degrees in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from Concordia University. Articulated across sculpture, installation, photography and video Norouzi's practice is research-driven, instigated by marginalized histories and the legacies of botanical explorations and archeological excavations, particularly when scientific research became entangled in the colonial exploitation of non-Western geographies.
Norouzi has exhibited at BIENALESUR, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Royal Ontario Museum, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and Musée d'Art Contemporain. She has received the Grantham Foundation Award, the Liz Crockford Artist Fund Award, the Vermont Studio Center Merit, the Contemporary Art Award of Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Impression residency at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize.