Toronto Pride is almost upon us! There are a huge number of events, programs, installations and shows throughout the city during late June and early July. One of these is That’s So Gay, an annual art exhibition at the Gladstone Hotel, curated this year by Elisha Lim. Stay tuned to Shameless for more coverage of this exhibition coming soon.
One of this year’s participants of That’s So Gay is Bambitchell, the name used by Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell for their collaborative work. From their artist statement:
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.
At That’s So Gay, Bambitchell will be screening two videos on loop: Citizen Kenney and Inextricable, a 2-part video installation that looks at queering notions of diaspora through a consideration of nation, gender, post-colonialism and affect.
Expanding on the motivations behind these two films, Sharlene and Alexis explain:
We are interested in exposing some of the more nuanced aspects of colonialism and racism as they pertain to issues such as border patrol and immigration. It therefore becomes important for us to use camp and irony playfully, in order to allow those who engage with our work to relate these themes back to their own lives rather than scripting an experience for them. We tend towards critiques of state policies and the effects they have on actual bodies whether racialized, gendered, sexualized etc., but try to not talk about the specifics of what that looks like in hopes that those experiencing the work might draw their own conclusions based on who they are and the lives they lead.
The show will be up from June 27 to mid-August, but other parts of the That’s So Gay exhibition will have different timelines. Check out some amazing art at Pride!