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Noor Afshan Mirza & Brad Butler: The Scar

An ex-beauty queen, a Kurdish MP, a former Gladio agent and a communist turned confessor. An infamous car crash in Turkey in 1996 is reimagined through multiple perspectives and genres by international artists Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler.

This exhibition and its central new commission The Scar explore an extraordinary conspiracy with global implications. The crash occurred on 3 November 1996 in the town of Susurluk, in Turkey’s Balıkesir Province. Out of the four passengers only one survived, and has amnesia. In the car the police found weapons, fake passports signed by the interior minister (who was also the head of police), money and drugs.

This exhibition approaches the scandal by imagining and depicting that which remained as private inadmissible conjecture in the subsequent investigations: What were these four people talking about together just before they crashed?

Across three very different genres that all end in a car crash, The Scar tells its story from the position of Yenge, the female passenger whose death was written out of history. Through her journey we begin to address the corrupt systems that still hold power, explore ways to ‘get out’ of the car and begin to imagine an alternative society no longer dominated by patriarchy.

Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler’s work engages with contradictions of inequality, power, privilege and (non) participation and until recently took the form of a fictional institution: The Museum of Non-Participation (2008-2016). Their collaboration spans moving image, installation, workshops, sound, text and performed actions.

Differentiating between work made ‘in’ struggle and work made about struggle they take up an expanded notion of how to think politics with and through the body. Mirza and Butler work in an international context and are interested in expanded notions of art that turn to such areas as state violence and forced disappearance, the ectoplasm of neoliberalism and women’s bodies as sites of resistance.

A HOME new commission in partnership with FLAMIN (London, UK), Spectre Productions (Paris, France), Delfina Foundation (London, UK) and Edith-Russ-Haus (Oldenburg, Germany).