The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) and the Conseil des arts de Montréal are pleased to announce the laureate of this year’s Impressions Residency: Anahita Norouzi. This eight-week artist residency opens the door to a visual artist from one of Montreal’s cultural communities to carry out a research-creation project by bringing a unique and original perspective to one the Museum’s collections. Thanks to the financial support of the Conseil des arts de Montréal, Norouzi will receive a $7,000 bursary.
Anahita Norouzi is a multidisciplinary Iranian-Canadian artist who is based in Montreal. In her practice, she explores the notions of displacement, memory and identity from a psycho-historical point of view, which is informed by frequent travels between Canada and Iran. Winner of the Grantham Foundation’s 2021 Grand Prize for Creation, she holds a Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University and a Bachelor’s of Graphic Design from Soureh University, in Tehran. Her work has notably been shown in Germany, Canada and Iran.
In her residency, she will pursue the creation of her multi-part installation Spoken Objects: Reweaving Fractures and Ghosts, which will consist in making reconstructions based on historical artifacts in the Middle Eastern collection that have never been on display, either because they were not considered beautiful or important enough, or because they were viewed as damaged. By reintroducing and reframing these objects through the strategies of contemporary art, the artist speculates on their potential histories and narratives that would otherwise remain obscured. This project represents her efforts to give viability to diasporic artifacts, and imbue them with new meanings by moving them from their locations in drawers and vaults into a new logic of associations on display.
“Congratulations to Anahita Norouzi, whose project is seamlessly aligned with the unique aims of the Impressions Residency. We are proud to support this initiative that shines a light on the work of artists from diverse backgrounds – a priority of ours – but that also creates first-rate attractions for globally-minded Montrealers. Through our collaboration with this pillar of culture that is the MMFA, we are able to fuel this human dialogue between artists and citizens,” explains Nathalie Maillé, Executive Director of the Conseil des arts de Montréal.
“Since its establishment in 2013, the Impressions Residency has provided a springboard for a number of emerging Montreal artists from diverse cultural backgrounds; namely, Karen Tam, Naghmeh Sharifi, Pansee Atta, Ari Bayuaji, Jobena Petonoquot, Leila Zelli, Nayla Dabaji and Ahreum Lee. This year, we are thrilled to welcome artist Anahita Norouzi. Drawing from the MMFA’s collection, she invites us to reflect on notions of hybridity and memory by presenting the Middle Eastern cultural heritage in a new light,” says Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Chief Curator of the MMFA.