Video
from Hold Your Ground (2012), by Karen Mirza and Brad Butler

Video from Hold Your Ground (2012) by Karen Mirza and Brad Butler

Excerpt from Body, Speech, and Resistance: A Reading of Recent Works by Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, from Issue Vol. 42, No. 4.

Yesomi Umolu

London-based artists Karen Mirza and Brad Butler are often cited for their ongoing work The Museum of Non Participation (MoNP). Initiated in 2007 as an Artangel1 commissioned project, Mirza and Butler’s peripatetic fictional museum addresses issues of power, privilege, and participation in everyday life. Without a dedicated physical space, the MoNP has taken a variety of forms, including a newspaper, performances, site-specific interventions, a neon sign, and workshops at various international locations—always with the intent of interrogating the politics of participation at its hosting sites. As the artists state, nonparticipation is “a condition embodied in the need to participate and the simultaneous need to withdraw, including the question as to how withdrawal can be made visible.” The term, which at first can be misunderstood as a negation, is in fact an expansive conceptual tool used by the collaborative pair to understand the status of individual and collective agency in society at large. Most importantly, it serves to reveal the oft unseen structures that guide social relations between people, cultures, and nations…

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