london

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, You Are the Prime Minister (neon sign), 2014, curtain, desk, chairs, neon. Installation view.

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler

waterside contemporary (formerly Waterside Project Space)

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, You Are the Prime Minister (neon sign), 2014, curtain, desk, chairs, neon. Installation view.

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler’s “The Unreliable Narrator” presented the emergent twenty-first century as one that is both authoritarian and anarchic, a divide articulated through the division of the single gallery space into two rooms via red theatrical curtains. The first room one entered resembled an examination hall, in which a neon sign reading YOU ARE THE PRIME MINISTER (reflecting the title of the piece; all works 2014) shone over three school desks. An examination paper had been placed on two of them, with a question taken from a real Eton College King’s Scholarship exam, while the answer sheet lay on the third. The exam presents a scenario set in the year 2040, when riots have erupted after Britain runs out of fuel due to an oil crisis in the Middle East. During two days of army intervention on the government’s behalf, twenty-five protesters are killed. “You are the Prime

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