Somewhere Else, In Order to Complete Them (2015)
Single screen video with sound.
1 hour 24 mins.
In ‘Somewhere Else, In Order to Complete Them’ a myth is narrated about the role artists have had in shaping the identity of Beppu, Japan, attributing the constant eruption of geothermal steam to a very recent intervention – an accident – by a visiting artist in the 1970’s.
The narrator goes on to suggest that another artist ( unnamed, but Chodzko is implicated) whose work, since 2002, has often been made in the communities and landscape immediately around his home in Kent, UK, work that is somehow linked directly, from deep within the earth, locally, to particular places of eruption within Beppu and that he has, it appears, come to Beppu to explore and identify these geographical links.
The video presents a series of Chodzko’s moving image artworks*, from silent slide projections to video works and ‘grounds’ them in Beppu, around the Kannawa area. The individual works themselves, although partly situated within ideas of the ‘local,’ also reveal a ‘reaching out’ to other places in the world (including Governors Island, New York, Athens, Greece and Belgrade, Serbia).
The monitor playing this video and its surrounding environment within Fujiya Gallery was also recorded during the exhibition, being encountered by a Japanese audience. The resulting ‘video of a video’ (Somewhere Else, in Order to Complete Them, Returned (2015)) , a folding of spaces, was presented in Chodzko’s Design for a Fold exhibition at the Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury, again calling into question where and how we might be (and how we might be where ) in the world.
*Echo (2009), Yet (2005), The Pickers (2009), Ghost Archive (I) Summer (2010), Plan for a Parade with Two Masks (2004), Great Expectations (2015), White Magic (2005), Cell-a (2002), Guide for a Parade with Two Masks (2004).
So…A long time ago…
Well, not so long…maybe it was the mid 1960’s or early 1970’s?
Anyway, “A long time ago” an artist from outside Japan came to Beppu and made an installation. A kind of intervention, where they put something into the earth.
(We’re not sure what).
After they left, whatever they did as part of their project here must have affected things deep underground.
(We’re not sure if this was the artist’s intention or a mistake).
Things started coming to the surface. Erupting everywhere around the city.
A lot of heat and fluid ruptured through vents in the earth to completely change the appearance and identity of the city.
So, the city somehow had to deal with this transformation in a creative way. By channeling this leakage, harnessing it, marvelling at it; it became a source of healing and wonder. But they also needed to invent a mythology that somehow this eruption had always been there!
(And always would be).
In order to reassure people; keeping things harmonious and…consistent.
Then recently some…artist (?), from England, came to Beppu. He claimed that the work he had been making for a while, using very particular people and places around where he lives in Kent, was somehow linked, through the earth via deep underground channels, with the erupting flows in Beppu.
He thought that distinct openings and channels in the earth here, in Beppu, were affecting specific sites in Kent, forming environments and groups of people. Shifting their behaviour.
Really, we think that he thought that his work back there was being formed here.
So, he came here to try and find the particular expulsions that linked with individual works he had made back home in order that he may, finally, try to complete them.