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We are pleased to present the Canadian premiere of Karen Mirza & Brad Butler’s new film Deep State (45 min., 2012), scripted by science fiction author China Miéville and commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella. The film takes its title from the Turkish term “Derin Devlet,” meaning “state within the state,” and tells a story about the representation of political struggle, moments of crisis, solidarity, schisms and oppression. Archive footage slices through a science fiction-inflected narrative that is propelled by the relationships between those drawn together in the struggle against the deep state. The deep state is imaged as an amorphous, submerged totality which makes itself present through uncanny bleeds of colour. Its opposition is a time-travelling rioter who passes through holes in conventional history created by the irruptive power of riots; these grainy portals evade the panopticon-like gaze of the deep state.
Deep State was conceived following Mirza and Butler’s residency at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo and also intersects with a larger body of work entitled The Museum of Non Participation.
The artists will be in Toronto from September 12 to October 14 to present The House of the Unexpected, a series of events, workshops and an exhibition co-presented by SAVAC and the Blackwood Gallery.
Opening Reception: Wednesday September 19, 5–9 pm.
Exhibition Dates: September 12 — October 14
For more information, please visit www.savac.net.
Karen Mirza and Brad Butler have worked together since 1998, and in 2004 formed no.w.here, an artist-run organisation. Their practice is centred upon collaboration, dialogue and the social; early works emerged from their interest in seminal avant-garde film and since 2007 they have pursued a strain of practice entitled The Museum of Non Participation, a collection of gestures, speech acts and audio-visual works which has thus far been presented in Egypt, Pakistan, Germany and the UK. They are actively involved as members of the Precarious Workers Brigade; their political alignment directly informs not only the content of their work but their collective approach to production. Mirza and Butler have recently completed a new film, entitled Deep State, in collaboration with science fiction author China Miéville. In Spring 2013 they will present a major solo exhibition at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.