Museum of Non-Participation
Act 00005
What will the next revolution look like?
2010
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  • What will the Next Revolution Look Like? is a site conditioned performance lecture that leaves its presence as an installation. Through both recorded and performed texts each performance starts with the story as to how the Museum of Non Particpation came into being to introduce a meta-narrative seeking to embody representational politics of this social and political experiment to define the boundaries of non-participation and resistance.

    With each iteration of this work, the script for this performance changes to take on both local specifities and the spatial dynamics of each space to continuously advance its process. This work has been performed with both Karen Mirza and Brad Butler as the main protagonists and also with close collaborators rehearsing and then taking up these rolls. In London the invitation was to stage the performance as an intervention within a pre-existing exhibition "All That Remains the Teenagers of Socialism" whilst in Vancouver a proposal to intervene within the performance was extended to local artists / activists as a continuation of a dialogue sustained throughout Mirza Butler's residence. In Vancouver, after the live performance ended, the architecture and video / slide works were left operating, allowing new visitors to engage with the unfolding discourse in those works still agent as both an exhibition and a static facsimile of the live ephemeral event.

    Performed at:
    Vancouver, VIVO
    Glasgow in CCA with ARIKA
    Istanbul, NON Site with Galeri NON
    Geneva at Centre Contemporary Photography
    Halle at Werkleitz Festival
    London within the Exhibition:
    All that Remains...The Teenagers of Socialism at Waterside Projects

    HALLE, (Former East) GERMANY:

    SCENE 1 Performer 1 (NABIL AHMED)

    Interior. Intecta. 23 Gro�e Ulrichsra�e GROUND FLOOR, HALLE GERMANY � A THREE STORY INDUSTRIAL DESIGN HOUSE DATING FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY � EMPTY SINCE 1989, IN DISREPAIR (VIRTUALLY UNHEATED) WITH TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT � BRICK WALLS, PEELING PAINT, LARGE COLUMNS, THREE FLOORS OF HEIGHT WITH DIAGONAL STAIRWAY. DARK FLOOR, DAMP WITH PATCHED GREY AND BLACK STAINS. 6.00 PM AMBIENT LIGHT FROM EXTERIOR AND EMERGENCY LIGHT SOURCES INSIDE. A BULB HANGS FROM CEILING ABOVE LECTERN.

    Performer 2 (KAREN MIRZA) Seated, under a bare light bulb which is ON. Motionless, performer 1 crosses gallery, STARTS the slide projector on floor sending out white light performer 2 stands, enters beam, addresses the audience:

    I want to take you back in time to Sept 2007; we are in Islamabad in Pakistan standing inside the National Art Gallery. It is the inaugural exhibition of modern and contemporary Pakistani Art. The originality, vibrancy and diversity, is really exciting and the artists exhibiting include Rashid Rana, Adeela Suleman, and Naiza Khan and amongst the many curators is Quddus Mirza. We are standing in one of the many curated rooms of artworks, in this room related to the body. The image and the image of the body is already a contested space in Islamic culture, but as I cross from looking at one painting to another I pass a window in the architecture whereby I accidentally witness the Lawyers protest outside the Supreme Court building. The lawyers are being beaten by riot police in white Shalwar Kamiz with pockets full of stones. I later found out that the lawyers were protesting against the Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for Musharraf's re-election. Standing inside the museum looking out at the image of the lawyers in a city where this museum now lies empty with no permanent collection and no more money for exhibitions, I think about contemporary art and the politics of human silence. In Karachi in a city where there are no museums, this was the moment for me when The Museum of Non Participation, came into being.

    Video projectors 1 and 2 display the lawyers protest in Pakistan....

    (Performance 35 Minutes)