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Imran Perretta: the destructors

19 May – 10 October 2021

Imran Perretta: the destructors

The Whitworth presents a new 2-screen film by London-based artist Imran Perretta.

Drawing on the artist’s own experience as a young man of Bangladeshi heritage, the film explores personal and collective experiences of marginalisation and oppression. Shot on location in Tower Hamlets, East London, it reconsiders the figure of alienated male youth, exploring the complexities of ‘coming of age’ for young Muslim men living in the UK.

Working across moving-image, sound, performance and poetry, Perretta’s work explores ideas of biopower, marginality and the (de)construction of cultural histories. Recent exhibitions include All His Ghosts Must Do My Bidding, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (2019) and 15 Days, Jerwood Space, London (2018). Perretta was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2014-15) and was nominated for the 2019 Film London Jarman Award. In 2020 he was one of ten artists awarded a Turner Bursary, in place of the Turner Prize 2020. He lives and works in London where he is a resident of Somerset House Studios.

An online trailer for Imran Perretta’s new film commission and exhibition, 'the destructors', produced by Spike Island, Bristol and Chisenhale Gallery, London, premiered at Spike Island, September 2019.

Click here to read an interview with the artist

Click here to read the artist’s transcript of, the destructors


The film lasts for approximately 25 minutes and runs continuously throughout the day.

The exhibition at the Whitworth is accompanied by a limited edition print by Imran Perretta which can be purchased from the Whitworth Shop.

The film is produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London and Spike Island, Bristol, and commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery; Spike Island; The Whitworth, The University of Manchester; and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and supported by Outset Contemporary Art Fund. It premiered at Spike Island on 27 September until 8 December 2019, continuing onto partner venues throughout 2020-21. The exhibition at the Whitworth has been made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Whitworth.

19 May – 10 October 2021

Our opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm
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Image: Imran Perretta, the destructors (2019)
The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, 2021
Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Michael Pollard