Critical Writing Index

Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke: Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure

by Steve Reinke

YYZine, Jan. 9 Winter, 2002, v. 2, no. 1

This is a series of images and writing compiled by artist/writer Steve Reinke for the Winter 2002 addition of YYZINE (a six time annual publication which corresponds with YYZ's programs of contemporary artist-initiated exhibitions). It contains video stills, appropriated from the works of Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke, along with writing inspired by the work of Battersby and Duke (specifically from the video Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond the Cure, 2001). The video takes a step back for the artists in their return to the sequence based/episodic structure of their earlier works: Rapt and Happy, Being Fucked Up and Bad Ideas for Paradise. Like their earlier works, Songs of Praise for the Heart and Beyond takes on the rough realities of the world, which can often be difficult and painful to deal with. Themes of addiction, violence, the destruction of the natural world and the agonies of adolescence are woven through the work. The piece is widely regarded as being phenomenally deep and whimsical.

Reinke acknowledges the artists struggles with reality in the written text he has accompanying the images. Emphasis on the internal and external in terms of doubt, disgust, guilt, and philosophy are strongly leaned towards in Reinke's writing. Statements regarding empathy and beauty are made towards a general distaste for everything "human" about the world. Like the works of Battersby and Duke, Reinke describes his plight in a very crass and brutish manner; leaving nothing outside of the overt.

ITEM 2002.099 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure, 2001Cooper Battersby

Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure, 2001Emily Vey Duke