Battle’s practice looks at the role of the micro-gesture in order to consider how small, intimate actions might collectively foster change on a societal level. In light of the US 2020 centennial celebration of the passage of the 19th Amendment, as well as the 2020 presidential election, this exhibition questions why and how our contemporary framing of elections manifest in a sense of political disengagement. Once we cast our votes, our consideration of how personal responsibility affects the greater collective often ends. Instead, Battle explores what political responsibility means by expanding our awareness of the micro-gesture.
Her project seeks to slow down time; to think about conversation as a two-directional responsibility; and to ask how small actions have power to influence change on a larger scale. In doing so, Battle asks us to collectively imagine different futures: futures that are more diverse, more just, and more progressive. By engaging with the online poetics of Twitter, Battle asks for an offline engagement with how we sense, feel, and understand proximity, encouraging a collective visualization of how “the view from here” might one day be different.
The exhibition revolves around the central collective power of the prompt to encourage others to consider their roles outside of the gallery, beyond the election itself. Prompts can engage with the intimate and the personal in ways that transform the notion of responsibility, challenge individual experience, and consider how our small micro-gestures might in turn inform collective action.
This is the third of three exhibitions presented by BMoCA in 2020 to commemorate the centennial of women being granted the right to vote in the United States. BMoCA will exhibit work by three contemporary women artists who reflect on the complexities of being a woman in our democracy today. A hundred years have passed since the vote was won, and the relation between gender and equality is still being negotiated daily. What does it mean to have a vote? To be a body? To use your voice?
About Christina Battle
Christina Battle (Edmonton, Canada) considers the parameters of disaster in her research and artwork. She looks to disaster as action, as more than mere event, and as a framework operating within larger systems of power. Battle’s research explores how disaster could be utilized as a tactic for social change and as a tool for reimagining how dominant systems might radically shift. She has a BS in Environmental Biology from the University of Alberta, a certificate in Film Studies from Ryerson University, an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute, and a PhD in Art & Visual Culture from the University of Western Ontario. Battle has exhibited internationally, most recently at Latitude 53 (Edmonton), Capture Photography Festival (Vancouver), Forum Expanded at the Berlinale (Berlin), Untitled Art Society (Calgary), 8-11 (Toronto), Galveston Artist Residency (Texas), Studio XX (Montreal), Casa Maauad (Mexico City), and SOMArts (San Francisco).
About Rose van Mierlo
Rose van Mierlo is an independent international critic, curator, and lecturer working between the United Kingdom, United States, India, and the Netherlands.
She was a Critical Writing Fellow at Lokaal 01 (Belgium, 2011), and a post-academic fellow at DNA/GEMAK (the Netherlands, 2011). After completing a MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths (University of London, 2015), she was appointed as the Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the Swiss Cottage Gallery (London, 2017). She is currently a director of the SquareWorks:Lab Fellowship in Mumbai and a part-time lecturer in critical art theory.
Van Mierlo has curated emerging and established international artists, such as Ronny Sen, Rithika Merchant, and Soghra Khurasani (This burning land belongs to you, 2017); Katarina Hruskova (The Waning Yolk, 2018); Caitlin Griffiths (While we belong to ourselves, a part of us belongs to everyone, 2018); and Tash Kahn and John Ros (Citizen, 2018) and has commissioned public art projects by Claudette Johnson, Sutapa Biswas, Elly Clarke, Ingrid Pollard, and Liz Hingley.
About Present Box
Present Box is a series of temporary exhibitions that invite artists to transform BMoCA’s lobby and front entrance into innovative installations, performances, and events. The site-specific projects are intended to encourage artists to create work outside their comfort zone, and to foster interactive participation. Artists are also urged to explore themes that are relevant for our present time.
Thank you to our generous sponsors:
Scintilla Foundation, Luff Family Fund, City of Boulder, Boulder Arts Commission, Boulder Human Relations Commission, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District, Colorado Creative Industries, and National Endowment for the Arts.