Tanya Busse

The Poets Antidote


Looking towards the horizon, the noaidi had a vision of times past; a black beach, a black feline, an unnamed black liquid permeating lips, and lungs and hearts. The mountain the noaidi stood on, now hollow and without protectors, was previously a lush site of timber and trade, prior to it being afflicted with the dark disease. The starless night was a sign of the insatiable desire of war, power, and capital, for which the noaidi had yet to find a cure.


Resistance comes in many forms, protection not the least effective nor the most obvious target. A war machine is as much a product of current technology as of the available concepts to think in and with and who knows how and when to summon them. At 70∞ North a defunct NATO submarine base is located. While the cities forget the land still remembers, but whose memories are carried on in it?


Podium is proud to host the exhibition The Poets Antidote by Tanya Busse. Consisting of new sculptures and video installation, The Poets Antidote came about against the backdrop of the Arctic, Cold War fears, a changing political landscape, and remnants of post-military architecture. The main piece, a video sharing name with the exhibition title, centers around an ongoing conversation between the artist and a noaidi (shaman and poet) and their attempt to imagine a spell that destroys the war machine. Norway is one of the worldís largest arms exporters, and in this light, the work attempts to confront the military industrial complex through spiritual means. Out of resistance, the noaidi will not cast the spell, however, offers a ritual of protection. The installation stems from the instructions she gives, the way our bodies move through space, arming ourselves with arctic flowers, venomous plants and ceramic sculptures.


Tanya Busse attended The Art Academy in Troms¯ and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She often combines video and sculpture into installations, to express different concerns and interests relating to geo-politics, landscape trauma and to larger systems of power. She has exhibited at Gallery 44: Centre for Contemporary Photography in Toronto, Canada; Turku Biennial in Turku, Finland; SIART Bolivia International Art Biennale, Bolivia; Artspace, Aukland, New Zealand, amongst others. She currently co-directs the mobile book platform Mondo Books.


Exhibition texts written by Xenia Benivolski and Nicolas Siepen.
Image: Venomous Plant I: Paeonia Anomala

This project has been generously supported by the Arts Council Norway, Norske Billedkunstneres Vederlagsfond and Troms Fylkeskommune.