Accretor (no.11: Before we begin…) (2019)
comprises of the following works by Adam Chodzko:
Meeting for people with stammers to describe a fire… (2006). Pen and spray paint on paper. 60cm x 42cm
A prop for memorising the gravity of mime objects: LaCie 4TB external hard drive (2019): flint, paint and marker pen. 18cm x 12cm x 9cm
Compass (2018): Douglas fir cone and resin. 14cm x 8cm x 8cm
Accretor (no.11: Before we begin…) is a work made up of some previous works, each of them separately exist as parts of other projects, but here they come together.
It is about preparing; preparing the body and mind for a space, a performance, a series of acts, each part opening up its own gap, ideally for something beautiful to happen. Collectively the work requests the following: To meet in a group, to stammer while trying to describe a fire, to handle an object while staring out of a train window as you pass through a city, and another object for holding; feeling its weight in the hands so that your body can mime its presence when that object is lost from the body.
Accretor is the collective name of an ongoing series (eg: Accretor (no. 7) ) of works by Chodzko that combine a number of previous works by the artist in close physical proximity, sometimes touching, sometimes obscuring elements of each other in order to catalyse something through their shared imaginings. They become a process of weaving across time.
Accretor (no.11: Before we begin…) was made by Chodzko in order as part of an artistic project by artist Cesare Pietroiusti, “Artworks that Ideas Can Buy,” as part of Oplà – Performing activities, performance event curated by Silvia Fanti, Artefiera, Bologna, 2019. Despite being exhibited within the context of an art fair, the artworks on display could not be bought with money but rather by visitors submitting their own ideas in a special form of exchange. This stimulating and proactive dialogue between artists and the public was notable for its capacity to generate individual and creative responses. Each visitor was invited to write their thoughts, critiques or suggestions about one of the works on display on a piece of paper and to consign them in a sealed envelope. Later the artists could decide if one of the ideas formulated by the visitors was, in their opinion, “worth” the same value as their work. If the artist accepted the exchange the visitor could then keep that artwork. If, however the artist was not satisfied with the ideas, the work would then be returned to him/her. (NB: in a previous version of this project in London, 2009, Chodzko exchanged his work for a submitted idea but in this iteration he felt that the ideas offered by members of the public were not sufficient for an exchange to take place.)
Other artists selected by Pietroiusti to participate in Artworks that Ideas Can Buy: Massimo Bartolini, Ludovica Carbotta, Francesco De Grandi, Michele Di Stefano, Jimmie Durham, Emilio Fantin, Roberto Fassone, Valentina Furian, Margherita Morgantin, Caterina Morigi, Giancarlo Norese, Luigi Presicce, Aldo Spinelli, Alessandra Spranzi, Luca Trevisani, Serena Vestrucci, Cesare Viel, Luca Vitone.
Notes on the individual elements:
Meeting for people with stammers to describe a fire… (2006). Pen and spray paint on acid-free paper.
“The Meetings posters, a series of drawings, are very contradictory. They announce the particularity of the meeting (“people with stammers to describe a fire”) and yet also state that “everyone” is “welcome”. Taken together these two groups must coincide; everyone must be stammering. There’s clearly no ‘point’ to such a meeting, but the work indicates that stammering could be the perfect poetic description of a movement of flames, which is a beautiful idea. The work also presents itself, through its various iterations, as an apparently mass-produced poster but this is an illusion since it is hand drawn. Chodzko’s activity in drawing each poster could be seen as a kind of stammering, and so he, himself could be included as a ‘stammerer’ in the ‘meeting’ that initially appeared so restricted. As this work shows, there is always a power struggle within the relations between groups of people, but the balance can be shifting, playful and provocative rather than one-sided and inert.”
( From Describing A Fire: A Conversation between Adam Chodzko and Mark Godfrey, in Adam Chodzko, MAMBO 2007: pp84)
The Meetings… series began in 1999 and is ongoing, with, in each, the flames developing their own form for the present moment in which they are drawn. Chodzko has spoken (eg lecture at Central Saint Martins, London, 2017) about his repetitive process of drawing the flames as a meditative process of weaving a structure of flows that not only describes but is the internal movement inherent in, and between, all his artworks; of fluidity, of meaning folding, unfolding and becoming. Meetings… also emerged from Chodzko’s own direct experience of verbal stammering, particularly as a child.
A prop for memorising the gravity of mime objects: LaCie 4TB external hard drive (2019): flint, paint and marker pen.
Based on a series of works begun in 2011, Props. For memorising the gravity of mime objects exist as propositions for pieces of back-stage apparatus intended to allow actors to prepare themselves physically and psychologically for the carrying of imagined objects onstage. Despite their failure to describe the form of the object they are designated, through handling these stones in the wings of a theatre, actors could experience, and attempt to memorise, the weight of objects they are about to mime carrying out on stage, to feel the objects’ gravity within their bodies. But invariably this recollection of mass fades almost immediately as the object leaves the hand.
Beyond their proposed theatrical function these objects can also be seen as operating within any institutional or domestic setting; our daily performances with any of these bits of apparatus might also require the development of a heightened sense of how we engage ourselves bodily, and ground ourselves, with these objects’ real possibilities.
Compass (2018): Douglas fir cone and resin.
An object to handle while staring out of a train window as you pass through a city.
Initially developed as part of a series of handheld objects intended to be used by the passengers for Chodzko’s artwork, Ghost this particular Compass, from the series, is from a Douglas fir cone picked out of the River Helford, Cornwall. It is to be felt rather than seen, rotated in the hand, with its role to find a place for the body while the eyes are immersed in the passage through a landscape, and in this case a cityscape. It is about orientating the mind as much as finding an external direction for a body.