Poisons

"All things contain poison," our beloved Paracelsus wrote, "there is nothing without poison."

The same plant to cure and to kill. Tobacco is radically altered in different cultural contexts. It is used in ritual healing ceremonies in South America and has come to be known primarily as an addictive carcinogen throughout the rest of the world – a side effect of Colonialism.

Poisons constitutes a sculptural system in which the objects have been activated through use. However, visitors are confronted not with a performance, but only the residue of action and the events already past.

The work engages with how both the material thing is produced and how meaning is produced; so the installation included the equipment needed to produce the sculpture. Installing the "vessels" required filling all them. This was done using Victorian eye wash cups from which two substances were imbibed: Cat's Claw/Una de Gato liquid (a plant from the rainforest known to fight cancer) and the liquid Tobacco juice.