Solo exhibition by Karen Mirza and Brad Butlerwaterside contemporary, 2014
Campagne Première, 2014,
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, 2014
You are the Prime Minister, a prominent neon work in the window of the gallery becomes an empowering in- vitation to take up the title role in a fantasy fiction. It is soon revealed to be misleading: the statement belongs to a larger piece from a scholarship exam for thirteen years-old boys entering eton College, an elite school that trained 19 of the Britain’s prime Ministers and 12 members of the current government.
A video installation The Unreliable Narrator narrates the 2008 Mumbai attacks, alternately from a position of the terrorists and of a seemingly impartial commentator. The video sourced from CCTv recordings of the siege, together with telephone conversations between the attackers and their controllers, suggest that the event was performed for the benefit of news cameras: “this is just a trailer, the main feature is yet to come”.
Mirza and Butler expose the existence of an Unreliable Narrator who takes advantage of the gap between fic- tion and reality. we may imagine that in the street and at the gallery alike, we are tacitly comfortable with our own classic roles as actors and audiences. Making visible the self-propagating assemblies of circumstances, references and implications, the artists force a reconsideration of the mandate and power of the narrator, whether he, she or it is explicitly identified or merely implicit.