Never Cross the Same River Twice

Never Cross the Same River Twice is a time-shifting survey of performances converging between video, film and installation. Initiated as a travelling research project in 2020, the fourth part of the exhibition traces the recent video practices of ten international artists selected by Kisito Assangni. The exhibition embraces expansive videographies that aim to foster new forms of transnational and collective assembly. The selected video works act as sites of visual contestation; cinematic aesthetics with narratives that re-remember; they reclaim histories and ancestries; decolonize both the mind and the imagination. Referencing Heraclitus’ river, which conceived identity as an ever-evolving and fluctuating entity, the title of the exhibition is a call to invent new grounds in place of entrenched environmental, political, and regulatory systems. Exploring the limits of film as activism, several of the participating works reflect what Argentine scholar, Walter D. Mignolo, termed the “epistemic disobedience and decolonial freedom” needed to rebuild just and non-colonial futures. From a “coming community” to a planetary escape, the exhibition opens up uncanny spectral exits to new geopolitical imaginaries. Accompanied by a series of talks and live performances, Never Cross the Same River Twice aims to expand and densify the interconnected motifs weaved through the exhibition program; history, ancestry, autoethnography, spirituality, memory, colonization, Afrofuturism, feminism, diaspora, identity, globalization, consumerism, myth. 

Exhibition team

Curator: Kisito Assangni / Programme coordinator: Zuizui Yang.

Participating artists

Oreet Ashery, Imran Channa, Mónica de Miranda, Prinz Gholam, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Mohammed Laouli, Egle Oddo, Ahmet Öğüt, Marinella Senatore, Elena Tejada-Herrera.

About the Foundation

The Troy House Art Foundation was established in London in 2017 by Shanghai-born artist and producer Yuan Gong to encourage exchanges in contemporary art and culture, particularly between Europe and Asia. To this end, Troy House Art is a multimedia platform currently spread across four locations in China and Great Britain. Responding to the transformed cultural and social environment of the post-pandemic world, these platforms support aesthetic and environmental research and the production of experimental art, photography, video, and film that both reflect and comment on these changing circumstances. As the basis for all its programmes Troy House Art is initiating exhibitions, artists’ residencies and exchanges, performances, conversations, educational programmes, and other public and community events. What they hold in common is their identification of art with social, ethical and scientific concerns, and their use of historic buildings, sites, and special natural settings, as integral elements for the production and display of contemporary art.