Painting Biathlon > Project description
Marina Mangubi started Painting Biathlon, a visual and performance art project, during her residency at the Banff Centre, Canada, in winter 2015. The performances took place at the Canmore Nordic Centre, home of Canada's Nordic skiing and biathlon teams.
As the title implies, Painting Biathlon combines crosscountry skiing and painting. The project references modern biathlon, a winter sport with roots in military exercises and a millennia-old history of hunting on skis in Northern Europe and in the Altai Mountains of Asia. Just like in a real biathlon, the artist had stations set up along a cross-country ski course, but instead of aiming a rifle and shooting at a target, she made quick paintings of the scenery at each site. Absent the rifle, the paradigm of combining exercise kinetics of an endurance sport with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills applies equally to Painting Biathlon and the sport from which it is derived. Besides the video documenting the performance, the project yielded a set of small paintings, completed along the ski terrain.
In one of the Biathlon runs, the artist drew on a tablet and posted the images on Tumblr, allowing a voting audience to decide whether the image merited a "pass" or not. Had the majority voted "no", the artist would have skied a penalty loop, as a biathlete would for missing a target. To see the results of voting, please click on the Tumblr icon.
Future performances of Painting Biathlon will be announced on this website.
To join the voting audience, follow Marina Mangubi on Tumblr @ painteronskis.tumblr.com. To receive e-mail updates, please join the mailing list on the Contacts page.
Special thanks to Leanne Allison for filming--on skis, camera in hand--and for post-production. The artist would also like to thank Deborah Cameron, Leighton Artist Colony Coordinator at the Banff Centre, for her tremendous support during the residency. A word of gratitude to the expert skiers at Trail Sports, Sam, Charlie, Neal, and Petr, for help with ski equipment and to Sam for assistance on the shoot. Above all, thanks to the Canmore Nordic Centre, in particular, to Aleks and Sue for access to the Centre facilities.