Delfina Foundation

Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler: The Scar

27/09/18 — 01/12/18

Dates:  27 September – 01 December 2018
Times:  Mon - Fri, 10:00 – 18:00
Sat, 12:00 – 18:00
Venue:  Delfina Foundation
Opening reception:  Sat, 29/09/18, 14:00 — 18:00.
Welcome address: 16:00


Delfina Foundation is pleased to present the London premiere of The Scar, a fiction film installation by London and Istanbul based artists Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler.

The Scar (2017), to be shown at Delfina Foundation as an immersive five-screen installation, is a fiction-film installation in three chapters, inspired by a true event with names, scenes and locations having been fictionalised through the use of Magical Realism.

In chapter one, The State of the State, we see four passengers on a journey in a black Mercedes, unaware of their significance as state archetypes: the Chief of Police, a politician and a right-wing assassin. The fourth passenger is Yenge, the only female traveller, silenced by the genre conventions of her role in the film. In the second chapter, The Mouth of the Shark, Yenge’s noir voice-over begins to interrupt the male characters’ forced bravado as they are haunted by the Resistant Dead – the residual movements created from stories of people refusing to be forgotten. The film’s final chapter, The Gossip, addresses tales of female emancipation and empowerment, where a group of female activists transcend time, geographical borders and linguistic barriers to gather in a neutral nether-realm of conversation and mutual support.

Noor and Brad's practice takes on, and deconstructs, urgent and complex narratives around our relationship to state power as seen in The Scar, which engages with issues of patriarchy, inequality and corruption, ultimately proposing a post-patriarchal near future.

Work on the The Scar began in 2015 when Noor and Brad were artists-in-residence at Delfina Foundation as part of the second season of the recurring thematic programme The Public Domain.

As part of the third iteration of The Public Domain, one of Delfina Foundation's recurrent thematic programmes,The Scar is accompanied by a programme of talks, workshops and performance, devised with the exhibiting artists, 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

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 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.