Artists Alexis Mitchell and Sharlene Bamboat (Bambitchell) in conversation with Dina Georgis and Deborah Cowen will discuss their current exhibition Empire Symbol, Or a Man and his Mule. Considering how historical knowledge is depicted as a construction made from traces of the past, the conversation will address the ways in which military logistics have paved the way for contemporary modes of capitalism.
Situated in the fields of postcolonial and queer studies, Dina Georgis’ work draws on psychoanalytic concepts to think through how political cultures are responses to the affective remains of the past. She is particularly interested in how narrative and art provide the conditions to engage the past and imagine new futures. Her book, The better story: queer affects from the Middle East (SUNY, 2013), considers the emotional dynamics of political conflict, the stories and subjectivities they produce, and what it means to make an ethical relationship to conflict. Georgis is an Associate Professor at the Women & Gender Studies Institute, at the University of Toronto.
Deborah Cowen’s work is concerned with the politics of space and questions of citizenship. She is captivated by the ways groups claim space, organize and design space, interpret space, fight over space, govern space, and share space, particularly in cities. In all of her work she is interested in how territory is fashioned, and how the political is remade through conflict. She investigates these broad themes through three research trajectories: Militaries, Cities and Logistics. Cowen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, at the University of Toronto.
Bambitchell is an artistic collaboration, 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).