The Gutter Awaits with Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby IN PERSON!!!

7:30pm Doors

8:00pm (not punk time) screening.

$10 or pay what you can. No one turned away.

The Alamo Draft House Sloans Lake
4255 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204

Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke have been working collaboratively since June 1994. Their work has been broadcast and exhibited around the world.

Duke and Battersby are currently teaching at Syracuse University in Central New York. In 2010 they were shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award. Their work is distributed by Video Data Bank in Chicago, Argos in Brussels, V-Tape in Toronto and Video Out in Vancouver. In 2012, a book about their work, titled The Beauty is Relentless, was published by Coach House Press.

In the fall of 2015, Duke’s book The Illuminations, a collaboration with Shary Boyle, was published by Oakville Galleries.

facebook event page here. 


Title: You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born

Statement: You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born is a visually rich film that follows a woman through a life characterized by damage and loss, but in which she finds humor, love, and joy. With a score that follows the span of Lenore’s life, from her birth in the early 70s to her death in the 2040s, the film takes us from moments of harrowing loss to those of poignancy and dark humor.  Her life is told through voice over, narrated by performers who range in age from nine to sixty-nine, and is beautifully illustrated with images of animals (including humans), insects and landscapes.

Film theorist Eli Horwatt writes “You Were an Amazement… conveys how the human animal’s ineluctable death drive can be the source of both profound comedy and tragic cruelty. In the many stories relayed across this short but voluble film, viewers are invited into an intimate identification with the experiences of marginalized others.”

Featuring Becca Manley, who played Shelly in Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, Barbara Woodford in Shane Meadows’ This is England 86, 88 and 90 and Mary in the recent adaptation of PK Dick’s Electric Dreams for BBC Channel 4.

Year: 2019


Title: Curious About Existence 

Statement: Curious about Existence is collection of short episodes incorporating music, animation, and live action. It deftly combines humour and humanism to maintain the engagement of the viewer as s/he is drawn through a number of divergent narrative worlds. The thread that holds these worlds together is a sense of curiosity about the world, (spiritual and material) and its inhabitants: humans, animals, the laws of nature, and so on.

Year: 2003


Title: Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure 

Statement: Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure marks our return to the episodic structure of our earlier works Rapt and Happy, Being Fucked Up and Bad Ideas for Paradise. As with earlier works, Songs of Praise takes on difficult, often painful subject matter.  Themes of addiction, violence, the destruction of the natural world and the agonies of adolescence are woven through the work.

“anything but depressing… [it is founded in] a sense of wonder at the endearing weirdness of life and all the vulnerable, furry little creatures immersed in it (especially us).” Sarah Milroy The Globe and Mail

“a moving yet relentless experience of contemporary life (human and biological) in the face of moral, physical and environmental degradation” Emily Jones, Catalogue Essay, Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 2007

“…a series of pagan hymns that unearth slight but potent saving graces amid seemingly inescapable pain and anguish.”   Jon Davies, Canadian Art, Fall 2006

Year: 2006


Title: Here Is Everything 

Statement: Here Is Everything presents itself as a message from The Future, as narrated by a cat and a rabbit, spirit guides who explain that they’ve decided to speak to us via a contemporary art video because they understand this to be our highest form of communication. Their cheeky introduction, however, belies the complex set of ideas that fill the remainder of the film. Death, God, and attaining and maintaining a state of Grace are among the thematic strokes winding their way through the piece, rapturously illustrated with animation, still and video imagery. 

It is a work that contains specific details about its themes, but sufficiently ambiguous and free of dogma, including religious dogma that, our futuristic visitors explain, is a vestigial leftover from an earlier phase of evolution. And while Death is an ever-present rumination, so are Redemption, Affirmation, and Possibility.

– John Massier, Hallwalls Catalogue for the exhibition “Hopelessly Middle Aged”,  Fall 2012

Year: 2013


Title: Civil Twilight at the Vernal Equinox 

Statement: Civil Twilight at the Vernal Equinox (WORK IN PROGRESS) engages two topics in parallel: the complexities of interspecies kinship in an age of mass extinction; and addiction through the lens of pathology and pathologizing apparatuses (medicine, “recovery”, the family, the church, the state).   We are interested in both interfering with and exploiting formulaic representations of addiction. Despite the gravity of the topics, our tone in Civil Twilight will be wry and playful.  To illuminate these ideas the film uses an epistolary framework through an imagined dialogue between two teen activists: an environmentalist and a school shooting survivor turned gun rights activist.  These two characters, based loosely on Greta Thunberg and Kyle Kashuv, will become foils for discussing ideas about animals, nature and the power of cute to generate a revolution.

Year: Work in progress.