Film and Video Umbrella present Simon Pope – Memory Marathon
Dray Walk Gallery, Truman Brewery, London
4-14 March 2010
Stratford East Picturehouse, Greenwich Picturehouse and Rio Cinema
6–7 March 2010
Beijing 2008, Athens 2004, Sydney 2000, Berlin 1936, Mexico 1968, London 1948, Barcelona 1992, Calgary 1988, Moscow 1980, Munich 1972…
Memory Marathon is artist Simon Pope’s extraordinary 80-minute film bringing together East London’s collective Olympic memories in a portrait reflecting on the enduring importance of personal recollection during times of major cultural and political change.
On 7 November 2009, Pope walked 26 miles in twelve hours through the five East London boroughs hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Starting out at dawn from Thamesmead in south-east London, and arriving twelve hours later at the entrance to Olympic Park in Stratford, Pope accompanied over a hundred local residents through Greenwich, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest.
In an unbroken relay, in which each resident walked a 400-metre section of the 26-mile route alongside Pope, they were asked to speak about a personally significant moment from Olympic history, before passing the microphone to the next person. Recruited from the boroughs adjoining the Olympic site, and reflecting the diverse make-up of those communities and the inclusive, international spirit of the Games themselves, the participants’ collective act of commemoration draws from a huge reservoir of sporting and cultural memory, encompassing both triumph and disaster, and highlighting the global, the intimate and the everyday.
Pope’s Memory Marathon traces a specially planned route linking historic film locations that pinpoint moments of transition and regeneration in London’s past, in a contemporary city whose architecture and infrastructure continues to change with extraordinary rapidity.
In March Memory Marathon becomes an installation at Dray Walk Gallery at the Truman Brewery. There are also screenings followed by a Q&A session with Pope at Stratford East Picturehouse, Greenwich Picturehouse and the Rio Cinema in Hackney.
Evoking the lasting impressions of TV sports coverage and exploring the role of moving images in shaping and mediating our experiences, Memory Marathon is Pope’s second major collaboration with Film and Video Umbrella. His interest in walking pervades much of his artistic output, which utilises and mobilises the physical and mental in acts of memory that create new visual constructs of familiar places.
Dray Walk Gallery, Truman Brewery
Off Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
Admission Free, Open Daily, 11am – 7pm
Stratford East Picturehouse, Sunday 7 March, 3pm
Salway Road, London, E15 1BX
Bookings: 0871 704 2066
Greenwich Picturehouse, Sunday 7 March, 7pm
180 Greenwich High Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 8NN
Bookings: 0871 704 2059
Rio Cinema, Saturday 6 March, 1.15pm
107 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB
Bookings: 020 7241 9410
Ticket prices at all venues: £5.50, concessions/students £5