Karen Mirza and Brad Butler: Deep State

Waterside Contemporary, London, 2, 3, 6–10 November 2012

By Oliver Basciano

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler: Deep State, 2012. Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, London. Courtesy Waterside Contemporary, London.

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler use Deep State, a 45-minute HD video, to project leftwing political provocations, but give depth to the rabble-rousing with a series of invocations of historical precedents within the medium. These twin themes are apparent from the start: in the opening sequence the videomakers both quote David Hall’s 1971 TV Interruptions (7 TV Pieces) with the use of a burning television (though this one displays the word ‘occupy’), and intercut this reference with short clips of…

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