Imran Perretta, the destructors, 2018, film still
Encompassing moving-image, sound, performance and poetry, Imran Perretta makes work about power. Underpinning his practice are questions around alterity, neo-coloniality and the process of identity forming in a post-9/11 era characterised by austerity, state-sponsored Islamophobia and the War on Terror. At the Secession, Perretta will screen the films the destructors (2019) and 15 days (2018), accompanied by a film program and a series of workshops and lectures.
Drawing on the artist’s own experience as a young man of Bangladeshi heritage, the film the destructors explores personal and collective experiences of marginalisation and alienation. Presented across two screens, the destructors centres on a group of young men as they navigate the social pressures of growing up in a society that has come to view them as both a physical and ideological threat. Through immersive, surround sound and staged cinematic imagery, the characters reflect on their lives and experiences through a series of monologues.
Perretta’s video work 15 days is informed by the time that he spent with former inhabitants of the refugee camp near Calais, France that became known as the Jungle. After the camp was destroyed in 2016, its former inhabitants began living rough in the surrounding woods and fields. The title of the piece is not a measure of the length of Perretta’s stay, but rather a salute to the hastily made-up name of one of the people he befriended. The alias ‘15 days’ may allude to the period since this man’s latest temporary camp was demolished, or perhaps reference the time he has been waiting in limbo, in the hope of a new and better life. Uncomfortable yet compelling, the work captures the intense emotions of living on the edge, bringing them to the centre of the viewer’s thoughts.