Museum of Non-Participation
30 September 2013
The Guest of Citation




Are you an artist with a foot in activism, a community organizer, or a small business owner?
Are you someone who questions the status quo?
Are you interested in uncovering structures of power and exclusion?
Are you the exception and the rule?

A commission for Performa 13 by the Museum of Arts and Design

This fall, the Museum of Arts and Design has commissioned London-based artists Karen Mirza and Brad Butler to present The Museum of Non Participation: The Guest of a Citation an installment of the artists fictional museum and ongoing body of work that confronts (non) participation and the socio-political in art works, in conjunction with Cheat Out to the Audience: Risk & Reward 2013. For this presentation of the project, Mirza and Butler are inviting local residents to workshop and stage one of Bertolt Brechts short learning plays The Exception and the Rule. The rule implies a legal language or a directive, while the exception evokes being ungovernable or searching for an alternative to either the state or the free market. Together, they act as both a statement, that the rule cannot exist without the exception, and a question, as to what a state of exception might be. Through the story of a merchant and his servant, The Exception and the Rule explores themes of capitalism and economics, labor and hierarchy, legislation and state ideology, hiding and secrecy, and the lack of union rights. The artists invite you to eat, talk, rehearse, and perform together in order to explore and enact how these themes play out in our daily lives, as well as to consider how these can be extended to the audience as active participants.

The Exception and the Rule is one of Brechts several Lehrstucke or teaching plays. Brecht himself translated the term as learning play intended to educate people primarily about socialist politics. Typically, this form of political theater privileges function above content and foregrounds collective teaching and learning through various modes of performance. It attempts to break down any division between author and audience through reflexive gestures that reveal the mechanics of theater. Through this and other plays, Brecht developed a way for non actors to learn through playing roles, adopting postures, getting rid of the divide between actors and audience, and focusing on process rather than a final project.

Working in the same vein, Mirza and Butler encourage you to enter into the project with the spirit of mutual enrichment and collaboration, where personal experiences/expertise and collective interpretation ultimately converge in the public presentation of the play.

Dates and Times
Monday November 11, 3pm to 10pm
Tuesday November 12, 3pm - 10pm
Saturday November 16 10am  to 5pm
Sunday November 17 10am - 5pm
Monday November 18 7pm: Dress rehearsal

Tuesday November, 19 7pm: Public presentation of The Exception and the Rule
We ask that applicants commit to being present for all sessions, your regular participation is essential for the group to work as a whole.

Apply Now!
To participate in the workshops and restaging of the play, please send:
- a brief biography
- a short 250 word description of your interest in the project
to public.programs@madmuseum.org by October 15, 2013.

Applications are free and open to anyone, however registration will be limited to 10 individuals.
Hospitality and a small stipend will be offered to the selected participants.

Brad Butler / Permalink