14 January – 26 April 2015, Zilkha Auditorium

A gripping new film about the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai will be screened at the Whitechapel Gallery from 14 January to 26 April 2015.

The Unreliable Narrator (2014), by London-based artist duo Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, combines footage sourced from CCTV recordings of the siege at the Taj Hotel, Mumbai, with recorded telephone conversations between the attackers and their controllers, who orchestrate the violence from afar.

In the film, televised news footage and scenes taken from a recent Bollywood movie dramatizing the event are spliced together, emphasising the complex yet pivotal role technology and the media played in the attacks. A female voiceover narrates, piecing together the story for the viewer and suggesting the violent acts were performed for the benefit of the news cameras. Highlighting discrepancies in the media coverage of the event along the way, the narrator ultimately questions the role of the artwork itself and its portrayal of an act of terrorism to the public.

Mirza and Butler’s work spans filmmaking, installation, drawing, publishing and curating. The artists draw influence from critical moments of change, protest and debate. The Unreliable Narrator is part of a body of work entitled The Museum of Non Participation (2007-present), which was born out of a visit to the newly opened National Gallery of Art in Islamabad where the artists witnessed large scale protests in the city. The event led them to investigate what happens when artistic and political acts collide.

On Thursday 19 February, 7pm the artists host an evening of performed and written responses to The Unreliable Narrator, including philosopher Howard Caygill. Tickets are £8.50/£6.50 conc. To book, visit whitechapelgallery.org, email tickets@whitechapelgallery.org or call +44 (0) 207 533 7888.

The Unreliable Narrator has been selected by the Whitechapel Gallery as part of Artists’ Film International, an annual showcase of artists’ film and video selected by 16 partner organisations worldwide.

Each season the Whitechapel Gallery will screen works that explore the theme of conflict, chosen by global Artists’ Film International partners. The programme tours to each partner venue throughout 2015.

Notes for Editors

– Karen Mirza studied at the Royal College of Art and Camberwell College of Arts. Dr Brad Butler studied at the Royal College of Art, University College London and University of the Arts London. Recent exhibitions include; Artes Mundi, Cardiff, UK (October 2014 – February 2015); MIRRORCITY, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (October 2014 – 4 January); Science Fiction: New Death, FACT, Liverpool, UK (March 2014 – June 2014); Gesture, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany (May 2014 – August 2014) and The New Deal, Walker Arts Centre, Minneapolis, USA (April 18–July 14, 2013). The artists have been nominated for Artes Mundi 6 (2014) for The Museum of non Participation and were shortlisted for the Jarman Award 2012 for the film Deep State and Hold Your Ground.

– Artists’ Film International organisations are: The Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Belgrade; Video-Forum (n.b.k), Berlin; GAMeC, Bergamo; Fundacion PRÓA, Buenos Aires; Hanoi/DOCLAB, Hanoi; Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong; Istanbul Modern, Istanbul; City Gallery, Kfar Saba; Centre for Contemporary Arts Afghanistan (CCAA), Kabul; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas; National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow; Project 88, Mumbai; Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway; Cinematheque de Tanger, Tangier; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw and City Gallery Wellington, Wellington.

– Artists’ Film International is curated for the Whitechapel Gallery by Omar Kholeif, Curator, Whitechapel Gallery with Candy Stobbs, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery.

Visitor Information

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm, Thursdays, 11am – 9pm.
Admission free. Whitechapel Gallery, 7  7 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX. Nearest London Underground Station: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway DLR. T + 44 (0) 20 7522 7888 info@whitechapelgallery.org

Press Information

For further press information please contact: Alex O’Neill on 020 7539 3360 or email alexoneill@whitechapelgallery.org



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