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Exhibition of international artists' work opens at the Pump House Gallery
Film still from Panopticon Letters.

LONDON.- This September the Pump House Gallery presents, You cannot step twice into the same river, an exhibition of international artists working in video and photography to sit with Totally Thames 2014. The exhibition aims to explore the shifting of historical and narrative truth by focusing on the reliability of memory and history through mediums that are often used as documentary evidence. You cannot step twice into the same river includes work by artists Ellie Ga and Alia Syed that will be displayed in London for the first time.

Pump House presents Alia Syed’s Panopticon Letters: Missive I (2013). Arising out of research into both Jeremy Bentham and the history of Tate she subtly draws the viewer into a shifting space of translation and memory where seemingly unconnected histories become intertwined. Having recently been on display at the Moscow Biennale this will be the first time this has been shown in London.

Ellie Ga’s video Sayed (2013), follows a dive guide in Alexandria, Egypt, describing his navigation among the thousands of lighthouse stones underwater. Interviews with the guide are combined with footage filmed amongst the ruins over the course of a diving season. The interview highlights the limits of visibility–of what can be seen and not heard, heard and not seen.

The work Ocean (2013) by Laura Pawela finds its roots in the philosophical writings of Charles Fourier, and a group of his followers, who, settled in Utopia, Ohio and believed that during a future epoch of global peace, the sea would turn to lemonade. The fluctuating, monumental body of water, slowly changing from blue to yellow alongside the absurd idea that the oceans will turn to lemonade vouch for the myriad ways a history can be told, and that each time the past is viewed, it is from a different perspective.

By attempting to bring to bear the use of imagery as interpretive material rather than truth bearing documents, the art works in this exhibition reveal the vagaries in memory and history, there always being more than one way to tell a story.

The exhibition will also include new performances by artists Patrick Coyle and Holly Slingsby. Slingsby’s performance based work, explores mythical and religious imagery and the construction of historical narratives. Coyle’s performance practice often manifests in rhythmic anecdotes that weave together disparate concepts and reference objects from the immediate environment as evidence to create a whirl of narrative.

Pump House Gallery will host free family workshops every Sunday from 11.30am-3.30pm throughout the exhibition (4 September – 12 October 2014). These workshops are open to all and have various themes.

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