Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) has been stigmatised as ‘the plant that ate Britain’. It has been declared a ‘non-native’ ‘invasive’ plant that can allegedly penetrate through the foundations of your house. However, the definition of ‘non-native’ or ‘invasive’ is in itself a subjective non-scientific taxonomy and there is no rigorous evidence of knotweed being more damaging than other plants when it comes to growing through a crack on a concrete surface. Widespread scaremongering has effectively led to the deflation of property value and the refusal to grant mortgages to homeowners that have found knotweed on their premises, creating a market for expensive eradication programmes.
The Devaluing Property Real Estate Agency opened at The Empire Remains Shop on Baker Street, London 2016, with a portfolio of toxic assets: properties ‘affected’ by knotweed growth. It expands on previous work The ‘Next “Invasive” Is “Native”‘ to re-think the ‘alien’ as an entity that could construct a new reality and can bring valuable hybridisation over time. Focusing on Japanese knotweed, the project questions the definition of a pristine British landscape and who defines it, as perceptions of ‘native,’ ‘alien,’ and ‘invasive’ shift over time. As part of the one-on-one consultation service, customers of the Devaluing Property Real Estate Agency were able to taste The Plant That Can Sink Your Mortgage Ice Cream.
For consultation on how to devalue property through the agency of a plant and add to the toxic assets portfolio, contact us today.