Behbahani’s latest series, Immigrant Flora, focuses on the interrelation of science, commerce, and the politics of botany that explore new ways of thinking about our contemporary culture of immigration and displacement.
Through years of research, Behbahani treasured a vast collection of archival materials related to Persian gardens, as well as native plants and flora. By exploring the history of seed trading in Persia through the Silk Road she came to the realization that there are not many clear sources about the origin of plants and seeds. That gray area in the Western historiography is the stimulation for Behbahani's work, particularly fascinating to her is the rose flower. Where is the original rose habitat? Why do we call it a French rose or British rose as a novelty while the seed of roses roots back to Persia? How did the path change? Who economically benefited the most from it? What properties make it native?
A Study on Immigrant Flora, is a process-oriented and multidisciplinary project, including sculptural wire crochet, drawing and sound. This body of work is part of a larger ongoing series of Immigrant Flora which stages the plants as witness across different landscapes to examine the culture of immigration. In this series of works Behbahani collaborated with her mother, Shamsy Behbahani as a dynamic agent to interlace the language, spiritual, and ritual aspect of repositioning body, memory, and commerce.
→ See the Immigrant Flora exhibition
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