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The Future Can Be Only for Ghosts

Anahita Norouzi
Sound: Mo H. Zareei

The artist embarked on an extensive investigation into the history of archaeological fragments from the ruins of the Achaemenid palace of Persepolis, in Iran, which had been illegally removed from the site over the course of half a century during the colonial era.

She remotely directed this video that was surreptitiously filmed by her cinematographer colleague residing in Shiraz, a city located 40 kilometers away from Persepolis. It is worth noting that the Islamic government of Iran prohibits artistic productions that they perceive as glorifying the pre-Islamic era, which added an element of risk to the project.

The timing of the video shoot was of utmost importance to the artist. She aimed to capture Persepolis in late March when the site is adorned with vibrant greenery, a phenomenon that lasts for only two weeks before the scorching sun dries up the vegetation. This symbolism underscores the resilience of the site, even in its deteriorated state, and its potential to inspire profound changes for a different future.

In the creation of this video, the artist collaborated with Mo H. Zareei to compose a sound piece that would complement the visual narrative.

Anahita Norouzi is a multidisciplinary artist, originally from Tehran and active in Montreal since 2018. She holds advanced degrees in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from Concordia University in Montreal. Her practice is research-driven, instigated by the legacies of botanical explorations and archeological excavations, particularly when scientific research became entangled in the colonial exploitation of non-Western geographies. Articulated across a range of materials and mediums including sculpture, installation, photography, and video, her work interrogates different cultural and political perspectives on the human and non-human “other,” underlining the complex space between conflicted state of displaced people, plants, and cultural artifacts, and the responsibilities of the host country.

Norouzi’s work have been shown internationally, most recently at BIENALESUR, the International Contemporary Art Biennial of South America (Buenos Aires), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), and soon at Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and MAC Montreal. She is the winner of Contemporary art award of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (2023) and the Impressions residency at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2022). She is the Québec finalist for the 2023 edition of the prestigious Sobey Art Award.