Artist Simon Pope on Brick Lane, London with Shamim Azad. Photo: Angus Mill
On November 7 last year, artist Simon Pope walked 26 miles through the five east London boroughs that will play host to the 2012 Olympics. Along the way he talked to over 100 local residents about their memories of the Games, and from that made a new film, Memory Marathon…
Starting out at dawn from Thamesmead in south east London, arriving twelve hours later at the entrance to Olympic Park in Stratford, Pope talked to residents from Greenwich, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest along the way.
Commissioned by the Olympic Delivery Authority and funded by the London Development Agency and Arts Council England, the film is Pope’s second major collaboration with commissioner/producers, Film and Video Umbrella.
Each resident walked a 400-metre section of the 26 mile route with Pope who asked them to talk candidly about a moment from Olympic history that had affected them personally. Each memory reveals not only feelings of hope, excitement and disappointment, but also the way in which our collective memories are so often held together through shared experiences of moving images. (Though, in the trailer below, one resident talks of how his impression of a race he was listening to on the radio was very different from the televised reality).
Memory Marathon opened yesterday as an installation at Dray Walk Gallery at the Truman Brewery in east London. There will also be screenings of the film (plus Q&A sessions with Pope) at Stratford East Picturehouse, Greenwich Picturehouse and the Rio Cinema in Hackney. Full exhibition and screening details are below the trailer.
Dray Walk Gallery, Truman Brewery
Off Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
Admission Free, Open Daily, 11am – 7pm.
Rio Cinema, Saturday 6 March, 1.15pm
107 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2PB
Bookings: 020 7241 9410
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
Ticket prices at all venues: £5.50, concessions/students £5.