Summer Biathlon

Biathlon-in-Print is a visual and performance art project, combining Nordic skiing and printmaking, digital and intaglio.  It is an extension of Painting Biathlon, which was launched during the residency at the Banff Centre, in January, 2015.  The project references modern biathlon, a winter sport with roots in military exercises, in which cross-country skiing is paired with rifle shooting. Analogously to skiing sprints and stopping at a shooting range to shoot at five targets, as the biathlete does, the artist skis sprints and stops at designated sites along a cross-country ski course, to make quick paintings or digital drawings.  Absent the rifle, the paradigm of combining exercise kinetics of an endurance sport with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills applies equally to the Biathlon performances and the sport from which they are derived.

Although the snow skiing version of modern biathlon is the only one included in the Olympics, the International Biathlon Union recognizes roller skiing, combined with marksmanship, as Summer Biathlon, for off-season training and for racing. In spring, 2016, during the residency at the Joshua Tree National Park, Marina Mangubi performed Summer Biathlon-in-Print, roller skiing with stops to create digital drawings and animations. The drawings depict dying Joshua trees, as they bow to the ground under the weight of spent blossoms—their lifecycle undermined by climate change.