Critical Writing Index

Late Capitalist Pathologies and Redemptions: Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby's Beauty + Pity (2007)

by Irmgard Emmelhainz

C Magazine, Summer 2009, no. 102, pp. 18-25

Opening with a quote from Nabokov wherein beauty and pity are inextricably linked - because beauty must die - this text surveys Vey Duke and Battersby's video installation Beauty Plus Pity, stemming from empathy and worry about the world in crisis.

Using Timothy Treadwell as an example of the late-capitalist view that transforms nature and animals into "vehicles of redemption and generic emotions", Emmelhainz reflects on self-expression as the new morality, replacing repression in our collective consciousness. Yet the rejection of the natural and religious worlds leave us inherently messed up creatures, caught in the schism between indulgence and faithlessness.

ITEM 2009.107 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Grizzly ManWerner Herzong

Beauty Plus PityEmily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby

Being Fucked UpEmily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby

Bad Ideas for ParadiseEmily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby