. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Bad Ideas for Paradise: Videos by Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | November 20, 2003

Thursday, November 20, 2003, 8pm


Something funny is going on in the world of Duke and Battersby, the Canadian video artists who put themselves at the center of their collage-like explorations, which, nevertheless, are only marginally autobiographical.  Speaking shifty aphorisms, singing doleful folksongs and mingling with psycho-babbling and straight-talking cartoon animals, this self-described “sexually compatible collaborative duo” make a sly joke out of their own alienation.  In Curious About Existence (2003), a classroom of earnest students takes in a lecture about thermodynamics and dead human relationships; a couple stumbles around an introverted science fiction apartment in I Am a Conjuror (2003); skateboarding teenage boys and an unseen animal running along the ceiling tiles share the stage in The Fine Arts (2003); “My secrets are so boring.  I don’t believe in art or socialism” confesses a robot in Being Fucked Up (2001); the languorous protagonists are halfway to a three-way in the bogus Southern gothic Rapt and Happy (1998). Also includes: Bad Ideas for Paradise (2002) (Jim Trainor). 1998—2003, Duke and Battersby, Canada/USA, ca. 70 min, various formats.