Batikh Batikh is proud to present its third exhibition at AUTOMAT Collective. Desecration: A Process is the first solo exhibition of work in Philadelphia by Coptic/Irish-American artist, Caitlin Abadir-Mullally. Desecration: A Process mimics the field of archaeology in three parts: the Research Phase, Excavation Site and Artifact Collection. This series of interactive sculptures mimics two kinds of desecration in the erasure and disposal of queer life and history and government-funded grave robbing in North Africa.
Egyptomania is the extreme fascination with Egyptian culture, myth and mystery. Spreading throughout America and Europe in the 19th century, Egyptomania spawned from European-funded disruption and desecration of Egyptian burial sites. The western obsession with a fabricated Egyptian history and cherry picked interest in queer life affects our understanding of the past and present. LGBTQ+ stories are historically undervalued and documentation efforts are underfunded. A common narrative of how queer records find a home in an archive is that they were scavenged from dumpsters, after having been tossed away by biological family members who wanted to hide their histories. The sculptures contrast the disregard for LGBTQ+ stories and hunger for Ancient Egyptian secrets. The exhibition puts the viewer in the role of a researcher as they explore each stage.
Desecration: A Process is curated by Batikh Batikh (BB) Founder, Sarah Trad. BB is a pop-up cinema and gallery that centers South-West Asian North African (SWANA) women and queer artists. BB focuses on bringing SWANA films to Philadelphia and helping local queer and women artists acquire resources for solo exhibitions at rented spaces. Based on an anti-capitalist art model, BB’s exhibition series serves as an incubator program, providing artists with mentorship, honorarium and marketing for their first solo exhibitions.