CURRENT PROJECTS can be found at:
Museum of non Participation

The Museum of Non Participation
The Museum of non Participation is an ongoing body of work that launched in September 2008 in Karachi and October 2009 in London Commissioned by Artangel (UK) and supported by Vasl (Pakistan)

An Early Museum Text:

London and Karachi: both are cities of my imagination, made real only through mortgages, the price of a meal and quality of domestic help

Mohammed Hanif, Guardian June 24th 2008

The Museum of Non-Participation is a cross cultural artistic investigation and appraisal of standard forms of representing and experiencing the everyday.

In the context of Karachi the flexible terms of the title have come to encompass a new way of moving through and looking at the city, in a city with almost no museums, the city itself becomes the museum. Non participation becomes a form of resistance and questions the choice and consequence of action or inaction.

The scars of colonialism, partition and subsequent post colonialist ventures of improvement run deep in Karachi. Representations of Pakistan by Western media portrays a rogue state, suffering from conflict, extremism, natural disasters and sporadic martial law, made more fearsome by its nuclear status. Mirza and Butler seek to discover the patterns of everyday life, and how to represent them in this environment. Carrying with them their outside perceptions of the city, they are investigating the realities of Karachi through its inhabitants and the built environment.

Mirza and Butler’s Museum of Non-participation is a museum of gesture, demarcated by a text banner which produces vastly different responses and meanings when situated within their workspace at the Arts Council Pakistan, and then outside in the streets. The Museum throws up questions of urbanism, institutionalisation, space, cultural and societal divisions. Mirza and Butler are questioning the concept of the city, and the issues at stake, carrying back to London with them questions which are poignantly relevant to their own sprawling metropolis.

Performance extracts Le Centre de la Photographie Genève from mirza - butler on Vimeo.