Now Showing: Duke and BattersbyPosted: July 6, 2012
Pain Shall Be No More
gallerywest, July 4-27 2012
In the future, there will be a mood brightening drug so effective that it will be administered to everyone at birth. The short-sighted medical industry, eager to cash in, will put it on the market before they realise its long term effects. The pill will completely eliminate ambition and remorse. Over the course of the following years, the human race will expire. There will be orgies of recreational drugs and murder, attended by the most unlikely citizens. The filthy will mix with the clean. Children, abandoned by their heedless parents, will laugh themselves to death. Then there will be peace on earth.
Later, you and I will be reincarnated as a pair of deer, a stag and a doe. We will make our way back to our home. We will nose through the ruins of this old house, which will be cracked and overgrown, and eat the tender lettuces that still grow, miraculously, in what used to be our garden.
Cooper Battersby (b. 1971, Penticton, British Columbia) and Emily Vey Duke (b. 1972, Halifax, Nova Scotia) have been working collaboratively since 1994. They work in printed matter, critical writing, and curation, but their focus is sculptural video installation. They were shortlisted for the 2010 Sobey Art Award, Canada’s most prestigious award for artists under forty. Their work has been exhibited in galleries and at festivals in North and South America and throughout Europe, including the Brooklyn Art Museum, the Power Plant, the Walker Arts Center, the Banff Centre, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, yyz, the New York Video Festival, the European Media Arts Festival, Impakt, and the Images Festival. They have enjoyed fifteen solo gallery exhibitions and five international retrospectives. In 2011 they were the spotlight artists at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
The Globe and Mail’s RM Vaughan described their oeuvre as follows: “[Duke and Battersby’s] works employ a type of educated rawness that celebrates the perverse, and the roughly crafted, but is nevertheless highly articulate and archly considered.” Their video work has won the top prize at festivals in Ann Arbor and Chicago, as well as receiving awards in New York, Zurich and Hamburg. They have been broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Bravo. It has been collected by more than a dozen university libraries, including Harvard and Princeton. They are represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects. Duke and Battersby each received master’s degrees in Fine Art at the University of Illinois at Chicago and are currently teaching at Syracuse University. They divide their time between Lafayette, New York, and Beach Meadows, Nova Scotia.