Desecration: A Process
Saturdays from 12-5pm and by appointment
August 10 - September 2, 2023
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.
ABOUT BATIKH BATIKH
Batikh Batikh (BB) is a pop-up cinema and gallery that centers South-West Asian North African
(SWANA) women and LGBTQI+ artists. Founded in November 2022 by filmmaker and curator,
Sarah Trad, 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, where art is free to the public with featured artists paid, BB bridges intersectional activism
and contemporary art and provides programming that showcases SWANA and queer joy outside the
www.batikhcollective.com | IG: @batikhcollective
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Caitlin Abadir-Mullally is a Coptic/Irish-American artist and archivist based in Philadelphia. Her
research dives into hybridity, queerness, collective thinking, grief, and cultural loss. Abadir-Mullally
works in sculpture, performance, and relationship building. She is passionate about documenting
diasporic queer Southwest Asian and North African joy and complexity, and the agency of the living
to decide how their narratives are preserved.
www.caitlinabadirmullally.com | IG: @meatspace2000
Sarah Trad طراد سارة is a Lebanese-American filmmaker and curator based in Philadelphia. In
addition to her work with Batikh Batikh, Sarah is the Digital Content Coordinator for the Institute of
Contemporary Art Philadelphia, the Project Manager for 12 Gates Gallery’s Philadelphia Artist
Residency, and the Director of Programming for the MENA Film Festival in Vancouver. Working as a
curator, preparator and filmmaker on the fringes of the art world, Trad’s experience in DIY art
environments has given her a variety of skills that inform her practices with BB.
Trad holds a BFA in Film from Syracuse University and is a recipient of the university’s Post
Baccalaureate Engagement Fellowship, as well as a PlySpace Residency Fellowship and Leeway
Foundation Art and Change Grant. Her experimental films and expanded cinema installations have
been shown at the Antimatter Media Art Festival, Toronto Arab Film Festival, Rendezvous with
Madness Festival, Everson Museum of Art, Burlington City Arts, and Currents New Media.