SITUATE / 17 August to 15 September 2019
Mirza and Butler’s practice takes on, and deconstructs, urgent and complex narratives around our relationship to state power as seen in their project The Scar, which engages with issues of inequality and corruption, ultimately proposing a post-patriarchal near future.
The Scar, which began development whilst Mirza and Butler were artists in residence at Delfina Foundation in 2015, was shown as an immersive five-screen installation at Delfina Foundation in 2018. The exhibition was shown alongside an associated programme of workshops, talks and performances, co-curated with Mirza and Butler, which imagines future feminism and its relation to the past and to the present.
“Inhaling patriarchy and exhaling wo(fem)inism, The Scar has definitely been the most ambitious, challenging and inspiring project for me as an artist.” – Noor Afshan Mirza
Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler, founders of the London-based centre for artist film production, no.w.here, create work which spans the moving image, installation, sound, text and performed actions. Their practice explores themes of resistance, inequality, power and privilege, and (non) participation. They are interested in art that questions the deep state, unreliable narration and the ectoplasm of neoliberalism, while investigating the use of women’s bodies as sites of resistance.
Differentiating between work made ‘in’ struggle and work made about struggle, they use an expanded notion of body politics stretching from irrational and non-verbal knowing to how resistance is inscribed in the body and how the body memorises traumatic experience. Noor and Brad are well-known for their fictional construct The Museum of Non Participation (2008-2016), which interrogated the synergies of politics and art. Past exhibitions include installations at HOME, Manchester (2018); The Sydney Biennale (2016); Hayward Gallery, London (2015); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015); Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis (2013); and Performa 13, New York (2013). They are recipients of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Artists 2015 and were nominated for Artes Mundi 6 (2014), a prize dedicated to visual arts engaging with the human condition. Noor and Brad live between London and Istanbul.
This project is a collaborative initiative of RMIT SITUATE and Channels Festival.