The Same River Twice
06 December–28 February 200806 Dec–28 Feb 2008
I like time. Now is not like two minutes later. And it’s never like before. Repetition doesn’t exist.
Greek philosopher Heraclitus is famed for his observation that ‘no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.’ With its stellar international line-up, The Same River Twice deals with a hot theme in recent art—historical reenactment. The artists all remake or recall history, with a twist. The first instalment features five artists. Gerard Byrne (Ireland) restages a 1973 Playboy roundtable on ‘new sexual lifestyles’ like a theatre piece, and films it. With Mike Figgis, Jeremy Deller (Britain) makes a documentary about his historical reenactment of ‘the Battle of Orgreave’, a confrontation between striking miners and police during the 1984 miners’ strike. Thomas Demand (Germany) remakes politically significant scenes from affectless photos as paper sculptures and photographs them. The Third Memory, a video installation by Pierre Huyghe (France), explores the interplay of fact and fiction—interviewing bank robber John Wotjtowicz, immortalised by Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon, we discover Pacino inspired Wotjtowicz’s criminal style in the first place. And Slave Pianos (Australia) take experimental music made by artists and have it transcribed into sheet music so it can be performed by a robot piano player. Curated by Angela Goddard and Robert Leonard.