Karen Mirza and Brad Butler

Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler (UK associates) have a practice that spans filmmaking, installation, drawing, publishing and curating. The artists draw influence from critical moments of change, protest and debate.

This includes an accumulation of works entitled The Museum of Non Participation (2009-present). This fictional museum foregrounds ‘non participation’ in order to contest contemporary terms, conditions and thematics of participatory art as social practice. Launched in 2009 as an Artangel commission The Museum of Non Participation proposes non participation not as a negation, but as a threshold. Non participation is argued through their accumulating body of work as “the tension between the necessity of participating alongside the simulatenous need to withdraw, including the question as to how this withdrawal can be made visible”.

The resulting Museum extends the institutional critique of its title into exploring its capacity to operate as a place, a slogan, a banner, a performance, a newspaper, a film, an intervention, an occupation: situations that enable this museum to ‘act.’ These ‘acts’, focusing on conditions of inequality, power, privelege and (non) participation, led to its nomination for Artes Mundi 6 (2014/15), a prize dedicated to visual arts engaging with the human condition. Forthcoming, the Sydney Biennale (2016) will focus and exhibit the Museum of non Participation as one of its 7 global themes.

With support from

Delfina Foundations family of patrons


The Public Domain:
Season 2


Autumn 2015

Artists’ website



Please note all artist-in-residence biographies are accurate at the time of their residency. For up-to-date bios please visit the artist’s website.