Empire Symbol, Or A Man and His Mule

Bambitchell, Empire Symbol, Or a Man and his Mule (video still), 2015

Bambitchell, Empire Symbol, Or a Man and his Mule (video still), 2015

Bambitchell, Empire Symbol, Or a Man and his Mule (video still), 2015

Empire Symbol, Or A Man and his Mule installation view. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Empire Symbol, Or A Man and his Mule installation view. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Empire Symbol, Or A Man and his Mule installation view. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Empire Symbol, Or A Man and his Mule installation view. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Empire Symbol, Or A Man and His Mule

Friday, September 11, 2015 to Saturday, October 17, 2015
Opening Reception
September 11, 6:00PM
About the Exhibition: 

Empire Symbol, Or A Man and his Mule, traces the journey of a Canadian veterinarian who was responsible for transporting mules from New York to Karachi, India during WWII. Employing his diary entries, Bambitchell unearth both the psychic life of The Vet, as well as the histories of Canadian Militarism that are embedded within mundane processes of global trade and transport.

"As the title of this work would suggest, there is more to the man and his mule than a man and his mule, literally speaking. But it takes a reading and a looking capable of seeing what lies under the surface. Indeed, if we scratch the surface of the diary, as Bambitchell have, violence is being mapped in the everydayness of war and in the quotidian realties of life under imperialism. The mule, taken for granted and discarded by power as a figure that might actually reveal its workings, exposes empire in an aesthetic practice that is interested in unearthing and tracing covert knowledge". Dr. Dina Georgis, Professor in Women and Gender Studies at The University of Toronto

Panel discussion on October 7,  7PM with Sharlene Bamboat, Alexis Mitchell, Dina Georgis and Deborah Cowen

Leila Timmins in conversation with Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell: 

Artist Biography: 

Bambitchell is an artistic collaboration based in Toronto, between Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell. Their practice uses queer and feminist frameworks to re-imagine borders, mobility, labour, migration and memory. By employing a wide range of media, the duo examine the complexity of attachments produced in relation to the nation-state.

Their work has been exhibited in galleries and at festivals internationally, including shows at the Art Gallery of Windsor (2015), The Images Festival (2014), and Nuit Blanche Toronto (2011). They have given numerous public talks and their work appears in a wide range of artistic and academic publications, including a forthcoming book titled, 'Mobile Desires: The Erotics and Politics of Mobility Justice'. Bambitchell have been awarded multiple commissions and have upcoming residencies at the Santa Fe Art Institute, and Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany. The duo received the Homebrew Award from the Images Festival for their project 'Silent Citizen' (2014) and have an upcoming exhibition at Articule (Montreal).