Duke & Battersby

October 16 – November 13, 2010
Opening Reception: October 16, 3 – 6 pm
Jessica Bradley Art + Projects

Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby perform various roles in their critically acclaimed video productions and installations. Their contemporary fables propose that existence is abject, farcical, and messy. The artists employ live action footage, scavenged images, and simple animations to create episodic structures that evince a simultaneously utopian and dystopian world-view.

In this exhibition the duo will premiere a new video work entitled Lesser Apes, in which they tell the story of a love affair between a human woman and the alpha female bonobo. The bonobo is the primate with whom we share the most DNA, but from whom we differ in several significant aspects: bonobos live without intra- or inter-colony conflict, are matriarchal and are totally bisexual.The video incorporates animation, live-action video, narration and song. It is accompanied by two dioramas on hand-turned wooden plinths made from trees harvested on the artists’ Syracuse, New York property. The artists will also show suites of new graphic works, and a wall text built from the found bones of wild animals.

Duke & Battersby began showing their collaborative work in the late 1990s while attending the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Initially renowned in the video community for their frank, poignant, and humorous narratives, they have won several awards at international video and film festivals; most recently Beauty Plus Pity won Best of the Festival at the 2010 Ann Arbor Film Festival. Their Beauty Plus Pity video installation was featured in a solo exhibition at The Power Plant, Toronto (2009). This year Duke & Battersby are finalists for the Sobey Art Award, which will be announced on November 18. In 2005 they were also nominated for this award and in the same year won the $10,000 Aliant New Media Award. Their work is currently on view at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In 2011, they will be profiled at the Rotterdam Film Festival.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.