Chisenhale Gallery, London
17 / 01 / 20 - 15 / 03 / 20

Chisenhale Gallery presents the destructors, a film commission and solo exhibition by London-based artist Imran Perretta.

the destructors is shot on location at the Shadwell Centre, in Tower Hamlets, east London. Reflecting on Perretta’s experience as a young man of Bangladeshi heritage, the work reconsiders the figure of alienated male youth to explore the complexities of “coming of age” for young Muslim men living in the UK.

The film borrows its title from Graham Greene’s 1954 short story The Destructors. Set in post-war London, still recovering from the Blitz, Greene’s story follows a gang of youths who plot to tear down an old man’s house. Perretta’s the destructors seeks to reflect on this narrative of post-war disaffection through the period following 9/11, a time characterised by state-sponsored Islamophobia and the perpetual War on Terror.

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.

Through the work, Perretta explores an uncomfortable nexus between austerity and the War on Terror, two parallel policies which have increased the economic and social marginalisation of Britain’s Muslim communities, while seeking out hope in collective experience and shared narratives.

the destructors is 23 minutes and 35 seconds long and is screened every 25 minutes from 12pm. The last screening of the day starts at 5:25pm.

Imran Perretta lives and works in London, UK. Recent solo and group exhibitions include: the destructors, Spike Island, Bristol; All His Ghosts Must Do My Bidding, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (both 2019); 15 Days, Jerwood Space, London, as a recipient of the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2018; Mene Mene Tekel Parsin, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (2017); and it wasn’t a crash, in the usual sense, Arcadia Missa, London (2016). Perretta was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2014-15) and nominated for the 2019 Film London Jarman Award.

the destructors is produced by Chisenhale Gallery and Spike Island, Bristol, and commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery; Spike Island; the Whitworth, The University of Manchester; and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Imran Perretta’s commission is supported by Outset Contemporary Art Fund.