The Poet's Antidote / कवि के प्रतिकार
6 December 2018 - 21 February 2019
By Tanya Busse
Curated by Sarah Schipschack
"... undermining literally––as in pits and shafts that reflect culture, alter irreplaceable ecosystems, and generate new structures; undermining’s physical consequences, its scars on the human body politic; undermining as what we are doing to our continent and to the planet when greed and inequity triumph; undermining as a political act–– subversion is one way artists can resist."
- Lucy Lippard, Undermining. A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West (The New Press, 2014)
This exhibition starts, and to a certain degree ends, with Lucy Lippard’s 2014 book Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West. Lippard’s writing points to an important aspect of Tanya Busse’s work: the connectedness of local landscape and global crisis. The Norwegian artist prompts us to reflect on the unbalanced relationship of humans with nature, and gestures towards the possibility of a more holistic view of the world, characteristic of indigenous thinking: to cut a tree means to plant a tree, so the cycle of life in nature is not interrupted.
At the center of the exhibition is Tanya Busse’s eponymous video, The Poet’s Antidote. It takes its cue from an ongoing conversation between the artist and a “noaidi”, a poet and shaman of the Sami people, the indigenous people of Scandinavia. Together, they attempt to imagine a spell that would destroy the “war machine”. The work attempts to confront a military industrial complex, placed inside a mountain, through spiritual means. As an act of resistance, the female noaidi does not cast the spell. She does, however, offer a ritual of protection, and in that sense a cure for the deceased mountain.
Tanya Busse presents a distinctively “Northern” perspective in the geopolitical context of the South and the Mumbai region. One way to read her work is against the backdrop of the Arctic, Cold War fears, and the antagonism of capitalistic and indigenous worldviews. At the same time, her work transcends local context and addresses universalistic issues, embodied by the artist’s deep concern with historical narrative, warfare and an ever-changing global political landscape.
This curatorial lab and exhibition is supported by OCA - Office for Contemporary Art Network
Tanya Busse (born 1982, lives and works in Tromsø, Norway) is a visual artist working across the mediums of moving-image, sculpture and printed matter. Her interest lies in deep-time, invisible architecture, and how power is articulated through material relationships and histories of place. She has exhibited at Podium, Oslo, Norway; Gallery 44: Centre for Contemporary Photography in Toronto, Canada; Turku Biennial in Turku, Finland; Abbaye-Aux-Dames, Caen, France, amongst others, and upcoming shows and screenings include: On Earth, Structure and Sadness, Serpentine Galleries, UK; On Circulation, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; and the Toronto Art Biennial 2019. She currently co-directs Mondo Books, an independent book platform that publishes and distributes printed materials across the northern region.
Sarah Schipschack (*1976 in Dresden) is a film curator, programmer, and producer, based in Tromsø, Norway. During the last 18 years Schipschack has established several initiatives to produce and present film, art house films, experimental film - Artists' Moving Image. She has worked in the independent arthouse cinema Kinobar Prager Frühling in Leipzig. She was head of programming for her video store/ archive Filmgalerie Alpha60, and as curator for Reihe Experimentalfilm, she put together more than 50 programs, including more than 400 films and over 200 film makers and artists. In the years 2017–2018 Schipschack is Film Curator in Residence and in charge of building up a screening program for artists run initiative Kurant in Tromsø. In October 2017 she was guest curator for the second edition of AMIFF-Artist Moving Image and Film Festival in Harstad, Norway where she put together a mini-retrospective of renown female artists Lene Berg, as well as commissioning a multi-screen work by artist Ørjan Amundsen. Her latest initiative, Polar Film Lab, an analog film lab in Tromsø, was established in 2016 together with Lithuanian filmmaker and artist Emilija Skarnulyte.