Bambitchell, still from Bugs and Beasts Before the Law, 2019. Courtesy the artists. Commissioned by Mercer Union, Toronto.

Bambitchell

Bugs and Beasts Before the Law

Bambitchell

Bugs and Beasts Before the Law

Bambitchell, the artistic collaboration between Canadian artists Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell.  Their commissioned project Bugs and Beasts Before the Law takes the form of an experimental film essay and installation that engages with the artists’ extensive research on the medieval practice of putting animals on trial – where animals (and other non-humans such as insects and objects) were put on trial for various crimes and offences, ranging from trespassing, thievery, and vandalism to rape, assault and murder. These animals were appointed their own lawyers at the public’s expense and also had appeal rights — several instances have been documented in which convictions were overturned and sentences reduced entirely. Through the exploration of these trials, they will showcase the ways animal trials often acted like the contemporary “show trials” of Omar Khadr, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning – as a way of performing power and inciting fear in the population.

Mercer Union has worked with Bambitchell since 2009, their works have been exhibited at festivals and galleries such as Gallery TPW, Toronto (2018); Articule, Montreal (2015); The Art Gallery of Windsor (2015); and Images Festival, Toronto (2014).

This project is supported by Partners in Art.

More projects in partnership with Mercer Union