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Join us to celebrate the launch of The Beauty Is Relentless; The Short Movies of Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, edited by Mike Hoolboom and published by Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and Pleasure Dome (2012, 168 pg.). The evening will feature a special launch price for the publication as well as a collection of video works that span over a decade of the artists’ production.
“The short movies of Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby have been tearing up the festival/gallery circuit for the past fifteen years, copping awards and retrospectives around the world. In this collection of scripts, creative writings and critical missives, their word smart blend of home spun animation, bedroom pop philosophy songs, and glam personas by the galore get the full treatment. Imagine threesomes, daddy’s porn, fame, and the importance of animals served up on a private TV station. It feels like your fave indie band put all their flash tunes into instantly hummable video vignettes.”
“The book is both smartful and stylish, featuring Electric Animal author Akira Mizuta Lippit on the couple, Czech film scientist Andrea Slováková, video legends Tom Sherman and Monique Moumblow, music writer Terence Dick, queer avatar Sholem Kristhalka and video dad Steve Reinke. Novelists Claudia Dey and Kyo Maclear lend wit and grace. There are also a pair of fully illustrated video scripts, a hilarious tell-all interview with writer pal Sara Hollenberg, a suite of unpublished writings by Duke (including I Hate Orgasms) and a collection of commissioned artist’s pages. All in colour.” (Mike Hoolboom)
The Beauty is Relentless; The Short Movies of Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby
Table of Contents
Forward by Andrea Cooper & David Liss
Introduction by Mike Hoolboom
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Jason McBride
White Cat to Duke, Do You Read Me? by Claudia Dey
Crazy Pinkie Business by Sholem Krishtalka
An Uncivilised Love by Kyo Maclear
The Song Sung of Emily & Cooper by Terence Dick
Important Things That We Like by Andrea Slováková
People who make rules: Watch Out! by Tom Sherman
My Life (With Duke and Battersby) by Steve Reinke
Dear Steve Reinke by Emily Duke
Audiences: An Interview by Sarah Hollenberg and Mike Hoolboom
Beauty Plus Pity:An Interview by Monique Moumblow
Copula by Akira Mizuta Lippit
Songs of Praise (Script)
Lesser Apes (Script)
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.