Our practice uses queer and feminist frameworks in order to reimagine borders and reexamine historical patterns of movement and migration through images, architectures language and bodies. We explore these ideas alongside an analysis of memory and remembering in a playful manner, working to “queer” approaches to these themes within contemporary art practice. Working in various media (print, video, sculptural installation and performance), we explore these constantly shifting narratives through a wide variety of approaches and frameworks.
Bambitchell (Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell) have been collaborating since 2008. In 2009, they created Inextricable, a 5-Channel film and video installation, which queered an imagining of diaspora and nationhood. In 2011, they co-created Border Sounds, examing figurative and territorial borders. Bambitchell’s most recent collaboration is a trilogy of videos titled, Citizen Kenney: A Love Letter in 3 Parts, which responds to the immigration and human rights policies of the Canadian government. Bamboat and Mitchell both have independent art practices and they are both members of the Pleasure Dome Experimental Film & Video Programming Collective.
Image at top: Inextricable (2009)
“I’m nostalgic for a country that doesn’t yet exist on a map” – Eduardo Galeano
Inextricable is a 2-part video installation that looks at queering notions of diaspora through a consideration of nation, gender, post-colonialism and affect. To be tied to nation, is to be tied to the very set of rules, regulations and policed boundaries that queer bodies (affected by race, class, gender, sexuality, ability…) cannot fit neatly into. Our transgressive bodies, rejected by nation, therefore queer the boundaries of the nation-state by our lack of coherence and our constant longing for a place that does not exist. Each of the 3 parts looks at a different experience of diaspora and examines some of the pedagogy that exists surrounding it.
Citizen Kenney: A Love Letter in 3 Parts (2012)
There was a man from the West
With a medal on his chest
Who runs swiftly to the border
To give the big boys a rest
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, hero of Canada’s most vulnerable: migrants, women, and LGBTQ peoples. Bambitchell responds in this 3-part video which directly interrogates some of Mr. Kenney’s finest moments.
Boarder Sounds (2011)
That’s So Gay is the Gladstone Hotel’s annual gay pride art exhibition that explores themes around sexuality, gender and identity. That’s So Gay 2013 is curated by Elisha Lim and runs from June 12th to July 28th on the 3rd and 4th floors. Opening reception June 27th from 7pm to 10pm.