‘Scenes of the World’
Pump House Gallery
The installation at Pump House Gallery originated from the interior of the P5, a local bus that traverses the neighbouring landscape of housing estates. A series of site-related interventions formed the basis for a sculptural enquiry into the multiple ways standardised interiors and public transport devise our communal life and shape civil behaviour.
The exhibition borrowed its title from ‘Hale’s Tours and Scenes of the World’, an attraction designed in the early twentieth century that simulated a railway journey. These customised cinema spaces mimicked train carriages to the finest detail, and were often even mechanised to rock the ‘passengers’, simulating the motion of a steam train. With elaborate equipment of levers, pulleys, wheels and sound devices, visitors, often still unacquainted with the moving image, were overwhelmed by these instantaneous travels taking them through Swiss landscapes, Norwegian fjords and the Rocky Mountains.
By contrast, this installation redirected the attention to the everyday scenario played out inside the bus. Scenes of the World was a survey of the interactions, exchanges and inherent social textures of this public interior. Over the course of the exhibition, multiple events addressed the cultural and infrastructural divides bridged by the bus. The P5 bus route starts in Patmore, Savona and Carey Garden estates, not far from Battersea Park, and takes a long, winding route through primarily residential areas on its way to Elephant and Castle. To debate the social interactions that take place on public transport, several community groups and organisations situated along the P5’s route were invited to the gallery in a series of one-day takeovers.
The event program included contributions by; ActionSpace & Claudia Williams, Juliet Sprake & Charis Poon, Rose Community Clubroom, Book Works & Hamja Ahsan, London College of Communications & Lou-Atessa Marcellin & Susannah Haslam, TfL Lost Property & Paul Cowan
This exhibition was supported by Arts Council England, the Mondriaan Fund and Armourtex Powder Coating.