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Noor Afshan Mirza & Brad Butler - The Scar

25 October 2018 - 13 January 2019

The Scar, Standbild © Noor Afshan Mirza & Brad Butler 2018. Photo: Emma Jane Richards

The Scar is a three-part, large-scale fiction mixed media installation by Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler that is the central new piece of their first solo show in Germany.

It weaves together gangster, film noir, corruption, fantasy and reality and is the culmination of a thorough long-term research project loosely inspired by a major scandal of Turkish political history. In film one (The State of the State) four passengers are 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 film two (The Mouth of the Shark) Yenge’s noir voiceover 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 part (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.

In all three films, character names, scenes and locations have been fictionalised through the use of Magical Realism.

Bringing together films, grand-scale installations, objects, texts and collages from the last 10 years, the exhibition follows the artist’s investigation towards the possibility of a political art practice that explores themes of resistance, inequality, power and privilege, and (non) participation.

Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler live and works between Istanbul and London have been working together since 1998. They were the recipient of the Media Art Grant from the Foundation of Lower Saxony at the Edith-Russ-Haus in 2017.


The exhibition is funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, the Foundation of Lower Saxony and the Gesellschaft zur Förderung von Medienkunst.

The installation The Scar is commissioned by FLAMIN Productions through FILM LONDON Artists’ Moving Image Network with funding from Arts Council England in partnership with HOME & and Edith-Russ-Haus through Stiftung Niedersachsen with support from University of Salford Art Collection, Spectre Productions, Delfina Foundation, Centre national des arts plastiques France, and àngels barcelona.

Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed
Ein Ausstellungshaus der
Stadt Oldenburg