CID au Grand-Hornu, Belgium
18.10.2020 - 14.02.2021

Mar. 14th, 2020

Unwanted


A case study of invasive plants


Text & photos © Anna Cherednikova

I was born and raised in the beautiful region of the North Caucasus, in the south of Russia. I travelled the world and lived in various areas and cities: from Saint-Petersburg and the Balkans to Stockholm, Madrid and Arles, in the south of France. While continuously transplanting my roots from one context to another, I noticed how I would always manage to adapt to my new environment. At the same time, I matured a fascination for so-called invasive plants - or weeds - and their extraordinary capacity to adjust and resist in challenging environments.

It was these simple observations that sparkled my artistic reflection on the constant movement and transformations that exist in nature and our relationship with it. Developed during an artist residency in Arles, the Unwanted series became my way to testify of the great personality of invasive plants, which manage to grow among stones, in areas affected by strong winds and high temperatures, and even in places that we typically consider not suitable for life or in which we actively try to prevent their growth.




The series consists of portraits of these amazing plants. I started taking them in 2017, and it became a long term project. Ignored by people, with the help of the camera and the use of flash at night time, all of a sudden, weeds appear like in a theatre scene, revealing their hidden beauty.

Unwanted is also part of a broader research project in which I try to understand what makes a garden, what we decide to protect behind a fence and what happens outside of it, in what we generally consider as no man’s land. I like the idea that the Earth is one big garden where all plants have the same value, without any hierarchy, something that I try to portray with my artistic research.


The images featured in this article are part of Anna Cherednikova’s book, Unwanted. Study of the Unknown Garden in Arles (Noord, 2019)




Bibliography

Gilles Clément, Eloge des vagabondes : Herbes, arbres et fleurs à la conquête du monde, Robert Laffont, 2014
Gilles Clément, Le jardin en movement, Sens & Tonka, 2017




About the author
Anna Cherednikova is a photographer based in Europe, working between Sweden, Spain and France. Currently, her research focuses on the territories that humans determine, control and protect - like gardens – and the ones that are abandoned. She is interested in how these territories interact and coexist. www.annacherednikova.com / @anna__cherednikova


Mark





Plant Fever is a project conceived by d-o-t-s and produced by the Belgian museum CID au Grand-Hornu. Graphic identity by Matthieu Visentin.