Empire Symbol, Or A Man and his Mule, traces the journey of a Canadian veterinarian who was responsible for transporting mules from New York to Karachi, India during WWII. Employing his diary entries, Bambitchell unearth both the psychic life of The Vet, as well the histories of Canadian Militarism that are embedded within mundane processes of global trade and transport.
"As the title of this work would suggest, there is more to the man and his mule than a man and his mule, literally speaking. But it takes a reading and a looking capable of seeing what lies under the surface. Indeed, if we scratch the surface of the diary, as Bambitchell have, violence is being mapped in the everydayness of war and in the quotidian realties of life under imperialism. The mule, taken for granted and discarded by power as a figure that might actually reveal its workings, exposes empire in an aesthetic practice that is interested in unearthing and tracing covert knowledge".
Dr. Dina Georgis, Professor in Women and Gender Studies at The University of Toronto
Interview with Leila Timmins, Head of Exhibitions, Gallery44.
Installation view at Gallery44. Photos by Toni Hafkensheild. For more documentation from this show visit bambitchell.com