EMPIRE SYMBOL, OR A MAN AND HIS MULE (2015)
17 minute Video and installation

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

This project is was commissioned by the Department of Global Studies and the Centre for Memory and Testimony Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Canadian Network for Psychoanalysis. It will be exhibited as an installation at Gallery44 in September, 2015. 

Installation view at Gallery 44. Photos by Toni Hafkenshield.

Interview with Leila Timmins, Head of Exhibitions at Gallery44.