Borrowed Cold Lodge (2008)
27 items of cold-weather, protective, outer clothing for water use;
37 items of cold-weather, protective, outer clothing for walking;
27 items of cold-weather, protective, outer clothing for subterranean use;
27 winter stable rugs;
17 items of cold-weather, protective, outer clothing for building use;
97 Winter coats from primary school children;
27 items of cold-weather, protective, outer clothing for field use;
27 items of cold-weather, protective, outer clothing for snow use;
borrowed from St Ives and the West Penwith area.
(Courtesy of: Rebecca Babb, Bob Baker, Sarah Baker, Tamzin Baker, Daniel Barnard, Alice Barry, Steve Bassett, Edward Beach, Isobel Beach, Jo Berryman, Ken Berryman, Amanda Bone, Emma Bramwell, Fraser Bramwell, Zachary Broomfield, Judy Browne, Jordan Butcher, Samuel Butcher, Olivia Butt, Christina Carson, Roger Carson, Kitty Clark, Martin Clark, Oscar Clark, Kezia Clark, Natalie and Neil Coe, Sarah Cook, Daisy Cullen, Holly Cullen, Kay Dalton, Dave Davies, Zara Devereux and Jenny Devereux, Eddie Devey, Jenny Ellis, Lulu Godfrey, Maria Harvey, Caitlin Hollis-Coulson, Finn Hurley, Phoebe Hutchinson, Andrew Jackson, Annie Jackson, Mark Jackson, Nancy Blue Jackson, Margaret Jaques, The Johnstone Brothers, Georgina Kennedy, Kenny and Nog, Janet Kersey, John Laity, Caitlin Lawson, Claudia Lehmann, Tom Lenartowicz, Alfie Merigan Maule, Owen Mills, Helen Moy, Jade Peters, Sam Peters, Lana Phillips and Eva Phillips, Miranda Phillips, Stephen Prince, Gareth Rees, The Rice Family, Sylvia and Graham Ronan, Yasmine Ruddock, Bridget Rule, Dylan Sharps, Zarah Simpson, Clare Souch, Benjamin Sparrow, Izaak Stanton, Sarah Stevens, Victoria Stevens, Tassy Swallow, Ray Trebilcock, Maia Uys, Crystal Wakefield, Cathy Watkins, Karen Wedge, Andy Wetherelt, Bill Williams, Fred Williams, Dom Williamson, Fiona Wotton.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Camborne School of Mines, Green Gym, Geevor Tin Mine, Hayle Meanderers, Penhalwyn Trekking Centre and School, Penwith Ramblers, Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole, Rosemullion Homes, St Ives Infant School, St Ives Junior School, St Ives Town Band, St Ives Sailing Club, St Uny CE School, Vorvas Hill Stud and other local organisations.)
286 loan forms,
Patrick Heron Glass,
Coat rails, coat hooks and barrels
Commissioned by Tate St Ives as part of Adam Chodzko, Proxigean Tide at Tate St Ives, May –Sept 2008.
Excerpt from Adam Chodzko’s initial proposal for Borrowed Cold Lodge, in an email to Martin Clark, Artistic Director of Tate St Ives, 2008
It has to exist, because it is summer, yards from a beach.
It is in the wrong season and turns a showing space, a gallery, into a place that is not meant to be looked at; a store or cloakroom, a transitional space.
It is based around that simple but rare negotiation; “I’m cold, can I borrow your jumper?” – and all the trust and intimacy implied within that request – which here becomes magnified massively in the wrong place at the wrong time (ie; my favourite place!).
The Heron Glass becomes (for the duration of this piece/the show) a map of the quantity and type of winter clothing. However, it remains ambiguous (abstract!) how the logic of the glass/winter clothes relation might be operating. The glass has 8 main colour/shape elements in it and there are 8 clothing categories with specific quantities of particular clothing requested…[The request for specific types and numbers of cold weather clothing] implies some kind of enigmatic magical alchemical process, requiring precise ingredients, which helps counterbalance a kind of sprawling and everyday process of borrowing clothes.
…The moment the clothes enter the building they become art objects and the moment they leave they return to normality. Although it is mostly intended as a one way transaction (ie: the lenders are doing us a favour…which one day might need to be returned!) their receipt of a loan form within the process turns the loan form into art object.
Andrew Wilson, excerpt from The Sacred and the Traversal of Social Space in Adam Chodzko Proxigean Tide, May 2008, Tate Publishing
On entering the gallery, the visitor passes a permanently installed large stained-glass window by Patrick Heron. This space will, for the duration of Chodzko’s exhibition, also hold Borrowed Cold Lodge, 2008. This work is made up of a large number of cold weather clothing items that Chodzko has sourced from the local community and, like Test-tone for Landscape, provides a threshold for visitors to pass over, from one world to another. One aspect of the gift here is to see a gallery space as a storeroom, filtering the way in which the gallery might be experienced. This exists as another type of proposition. The element of masquerade also presents itself here in the ordering of cold weather clothes during the summer holiday season and by the speculative way in which the window provides a key for this ordering (a key that is not immediately obvious and demands negotiation). The mall space, housing the stained-glass window, is a depository for the clothes that make up the work,… However, this organising ‘map’ that the stained glass window provides for the work, perhaps only functions in a poetic sense as another level of masquerade – as an analogy to the ways in which Heron himself playfully suggested that the landscape of West Penwith could be perceived in his abstract paintings: ‘that the enormously powerful rhythmic energies of the granite outcrops beneath my feet transmit certain rhythms straight up through the soles of my shoes every day.’
These three works – Memory Theatre (2008), Test-tone for Landscape and Borrowed Cold Lodge – each provide a pointer towards themes that the exhibition unfolds: how history and narrative can be unlocked or prompted by almost any object; how changes to the specific character of spaces affects the way we negotiate our passage through them, while sound can also function to guide as well as disorientate, and that such a function is as much symbolic as actual; and that through the transaction of a gift or potlatch, social relations can be realised and that such gifts are therefore viewed to have symbolic power.
…In a more playful sense the need for safety and warmth through clothing is one strand underlying the function of a gift culture highlighted by Borrowed Cold Lodge and that was first signalled by successive versions of M-path (2006) and the earlier slide projection piece White Magic .
Dialogue between Adam Chodzko and Martin Clark, in Adam Chodzko Proxigean Tide, May 2008, Tate Publishing.
MC: There’s a way in which your work appears to arise out of a weaving together of a kind of absolute pragmatism – using the ‘ordinariness’ of your immediate situation or circumstances – and a surreal or absurd fantasy. And this seems to be the case again in the new work you are producing for the Heron Mall, Borrowed Cold Lodge. In the work for Tate Etc. you have reimagined the Loggia as a sun temple, and from that space, as a visitor, you move directly into the Heron Mall where you have created a fantasy of cold weather, a winter store.
AC: For me, the Heron Mall is an odd room. It feels a bit like a Methodist chapel mixed with a cycle storage area. I wanted to change the status of that first public space of the gallery into that of a staff cloakroom or locker room – something which the visitor would pass through feeling they were somehow bypassing the normal entrance. Instead they were accessing a private space; a chamber beyond the bounds of the self-conscious desire for scrutiny that the gallery normally encourages. In the past year or so I had made M-path, a threshold that proposed that visitors make a physical and symbolic transformation by changing into second hand footwear, to enhance their perception of the spaces beyond it. And also Sowmat, at Signal Galleri, Malmö, where I made a mud trough in place of a doormat, so that gallery visitors brought in dirt as they entered the space. Sowmat’s mud was made up of very specific ingredients: clay dug out from a deep excavation made for a transport terminal that would create a new centre for Malmö; rainwater from the leaking roof of the abandoned Rooseum (previously the home of a great art collection) and 1 million wormwood seeds. But Sowmat was also specifically a winter work where visitors turning up to a pristine gallery through the January sludge would actually become dirtier upon entering, but dirtier with a material that suggested some alchemical potential. Borrowed Cold Lodge for the Heron Mall stems from these ideas of entrances and transformation, and of making a beginning that is somehow ‘wrong’ (‘starting off on the wrong foot’ again). You kept on reminding me when I visited that it will be summer when the show is open, and many of the visitors will come in straight off the beach …
MC: That’s right, lots do. We get sand drifting into the gallery from people’s flip-flops, and lots of them will be looking at the art in their swimwear.
AC: Exactly, so this is why I began thinking about creating a sign of the opposite season, by borrowing a large quantity of very warm, protective clothing to store in this space. There is something very disturbing about looking at a thick coat in semi-darkness on a hot sunny day. In Yet (showing in gallery 5) the narrative, which speaks of a crisis, begins with another misapprehension. A landscape is seen as being set in early summer, yet all the vegetation is dying. ‘Time has accelerated’, and a problem needs solving! But the narrator has just got the timing of the visual evidence wrong, and really it is winter. All is as it should be. I’m conscious that making work that uses the ‘wrong season’ as a device seems a bit trite, and I think that triteness needs to be offered at the start of the work as a false expectation of what is to follow. But there is that British preoccupation with the weather, much increased by current anxieties about global warming – ‘The weather has gone crazy!’. JG Ballard’s stories often begin with a subject noticing a subtle shift in landscape or weather, and this again precipitates this apocalyptic slippage into another reality.
MC: I guess the Heron Mall itself is quite bunker-like, with its peculiar exterior pebbledash finish on those interior walls; an uncertain kind of space, neither convincingly inside nor outside the building. It also has this very austere atmosphere, as you say, like a chapel, or maybe more like a tomb. When you first started talking about Borrowed Cold Lodge, I was picturing the installation as almost like an Egyptian tomb, a hidden chamber that exists in a kind of twilight between two spaces or states: the world and the underworld – full of the possessions and equipment necessary for the next life, all held in a kind of stasis, again a space that is about a transition, a journey, a preparation.
AC: Yes, but all these amazing ideas then get punctured by this very dominant, almost authoritarian, icon of the Heron glass, the stained-glass window that Patrick Heron made for the building. It turns what could be a relatively neutral space into a very charged space. So, I wondered if I could shift it from glowing abstraction to a highly specific, short-term, pragmatic functional object (other than as a window!). Therefore the Heron Glass became, for me, a map or plan of how the borrowed winter clothes could be recovered by the lenders, the day after the show ends. Different types of clothing are allocated to different sections of the glass, only becoming activated when the exhibition closes.
MC: I like the way that the Heron window suddenly starts to have this really strong formal relationship with the colours and patterns of the winter gear. It starts to look a bit like the design on a ski jacket or something.
AC: Yes, and again, like the ingredients of Sowmat (or indeed the material used for the Mask-Filters or the elements in A Plan for a Spell), Borrowed Cold Lodge uses the glass to request an array of elements that is peculiarly exact: 27 items of cold-weather, protective, outer clothing for water use … 27 winter stable rugs … 97 winter coats from primary school children … and so on. It seems to suggest the build-up of a code that will solve or resolve something, but like a lot of the work, it’s all based on putting things in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, together with the impression of accumulating meaning is the feeling that at any minute it might all unravel, or be washed out to sea again.
Excerpt from Bad Timing, Adam Chodzko interviewed by David Barrett, July-August 2008, Art Monthly, 3181
AC: However, the idea of a strange shift in weather is built into the collective unconscious now; we regularly see footage of people canoeing down their high streets. Also, British science-fiction narratives often start with someone noticing a
minor change in the weather patterns, or the usual levels, of say, sand, or traffic, or whatever. These observations bring about a sense of isolation (because they’re usually solitary insights) and foreboding, and they precipitate some other change, like a breakdown in a community. They’re little observations and anxieties about a transition in the ordinary– ‘have you noticed how everyone is walking faster recently?’
There is an awareness that some previous normality has now gone, and it forces a heightened perception; now we all start studying tiny details in order to divine what the changes might mean for us.
DB: Borrowed Cold Lodge…in which you display different kinds of heavy winter clothing that you have borrowed from the local community, also suggests a disastrous shift in weather patterns, particularly for summer visitors coming in off the beach. There’s a lot of specialist survival or rescue gear, which is unfamiliar and disquieting, and suggests catastrophic events, but the room is also like a cross between a cloakroom and a tomb…
AC: …Heron’s artwork here is actually very pragmatic and functional: a diagram for dividing up the winter clothing as it is returned to the owners at the end of the show. The Heron Glass still has a critical importance, but now as a useful map. Yet in some ways the contradictions inherent within Borrowed Cold Lodge, with all of its disparate allusions to art object vs. use-value, serve to create an even bigger abstraction. There is an abundance of material to look at, but as viewers we’re also conscious of a number of indications that the work does not expect our gaze. It is a museum cloakroom! To be looked past on the way to the art… the gaze it is directing us towards is of the unviewable; a private process still to come (the removal and dispersal of the clothes back to their owners a few days after the show has ended during the deinstallation period when the gallery is closed).
Excerpt from Postcard from St. Ives — Adam Chodzko ‘Proxigean Tide’, by Ed Atkins, for Artvehicle.
…In the first room, ‘Heron Mall’ (named after Patrick Heron, who designed the slightly lurid stained-glass window on its east wall), the walls, shelves and mezzanine are hung with a jumble of outdoor clothing. Specifically, these clothes are all cold-weather-wear – unused since the summer arrived – and have been donated by local residents. They include some unrecognisable swathes of cloth that must be something like stable-rugs for horses; huge, cloth-lined waders; worrying patches of survival-wear – local and industry-specific items – along with mittens, fur coats, bobble-hats and duffle coats. They’re organised into categories and stored – displayed – according to a pattern somehow wrung from the Heron window. An unfinished looking legend is pinned to the wall. ‘Borrowed Cold Lodge’ (the name of the new, site-specific work) feels dormant in the sense of hibernation: asleep in thick, warm fur, awaiting its time to become practicable again, to have purpose. These clothes, like so many of the props in Chodzko’s work, have the appearance of dreck, of the unloved; but are actually merely awaiting their purpose to be rediscovered and slotted into some overarching, previously inconceivable plan. One of Chodzko’s many alchemical roles is surely as a diviner of this hidden purpose – in this instance the clothes become art and, at the same time, are stored effectively ’til the end of the show: Autumn, when the clothes will regain their motive. Running a hand over the heavy, musty coats on one rail – dappled in pink and yellow light from the stained-glass window – one feels uniquely in limbo, both spatially (reminded fiercely of the outside, yet in a cloakroom before the main galleries; in muted exhibition-space) and conceptually, between purpose and aesthetic…
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Deep Above (2016)
I See Through Every Image. (A souvenir for Laarni; A planting template for Belladonna seeds), 2013
Mask Filter (2013)
One day’s work/wear worn through (2018)
Product Recall (1994)
The Quarantine Ship (2013)