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Visiting Artists: Duke and Battersby

Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke have been working collaboratively since June 1994. The pair create videos that explore addiction, spirituality, and identity.
February 2020

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Ticket Prices

$11 regular admission
$9 matinees (before 6pm)
$9 students/seniors/active military with valid ID
$8 MdFF Members

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A film series that focuses on contemporary image based work that explore innovative ways of working with materiality, sound, & narrative.

Program Notes

Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke have been working collaboratively since June 1994. They work in printed matter, installation, curation and sound, but their primary practice is the production of single-channel video. Their work has been exhibited in galleries and at festivals in North and South America and throughout Europe, including the Walker Center (Minneapolis) , The Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), The Renaissance Society (Chicago), The New York Video Festival (NYC), The European Media Arts Festival (Osnabruck), and The Images Festival (Toronto). Their tape Being Fucked Up (2001) has been awarded prizes from film festivals in Switzerland, Germany and the USA. Bad Ideas for Paradise (2002), their most recent work, was recently purchased for broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Emily Vey Duke received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and is currently pursuing her Masters at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was just awarded the campus-wide University Fellowship. Cooper Battersby received his diploma in computer programming at Okanagan College in Kelowna, BC. He was the recipient of a Canada Council Production Grant in 2001, and began pursuit of his MFA at UIC this fall.

Critics' Praise

“There is no such thing as self-esteem.  Self-esteem as a construct is illogical and contradictory, so its frequent deployment as the lynch-pin of New Age discourse seems to me satisfyingly appropriate.  I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have frequent bouts of self-loathing.  There is something truly monstrous about the self-righteous.  Eating a well-balanced diet is a horrible act of aggression.  Whenever I hear the word “culture” I think of bacteria mutating under an ultraviolet light and I’m happy again for a while.  Within the petri dish: unfettered egoless desire, the proliferation of new possibilities ideas made flesh, uncaring and finally airborne.  Empathy is a tool for making the cruelty more precise.  Beauty is independent of taste; the sublime only works for suckers.  Whenever I laugh I feel guilty.

Bad Ideas for Paradise is a 20-minute episodic videotape by Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke.  Funny, touching and ambitious in scope, Bad Ideas continues to deal with many of the themes addressed in Duke and Battersby’s earlier works: addiction, spirituality, identity, relationship dynamics and the ongoing quest for joy.”

Steve Reinke on Bad Ideas for Paradise


Directions to the Parkway Theatre
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway is located at 5 W. North Avenue (at the intersection of North Avenue and Charles St.) in Baltimore's Station North Arts and Entertainment District
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