Knots  (2013)




  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
  • Knots  (2013)      

    Single screen video with 5.1 sound
    8 mins 6 secs.

    Part of the installation Because…
    [originally at Tate Britain, 2013, as part of the Schwitters in Britain exhibition]

    Knots:  low res, on Vimeo

    In Knots Chodzko presents the interior spaces that Schwitters and Kaufmann worked within (the Merz Barn, Ambleside, and an office in Pittsburgh designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, respectively)  in the late 1940’s, as being unstable, flowing and melding together, as though becoming a Merz themselves, whilst the form of the video also echoes this process of construction, deconstruction and uncertainty. Chodzko in trying to identify with Schwitters and Kaufmann imagines these transformations as being caused by a vacuum, sucking in thoughts, desires, pleasure and matter, all caught up in the vortex of a dream-like surreality. This psychic space is created by the emptiness of the Merz Barn, full of significance yet lacking its interior Merz work, itself displaced, removed to a Newcastle museum in 1965.  Knots draws in the furthest edges of the Schwitter’s story in a performed attempt, through video, to conclude it, tie up its multiple ‘loose ends’ (ie; knots, also a reference to the RD Laing’s, Knots, which diagrammatises the dynamics of psychological entanglements between people), bring them ‘home’ to Chodzko’s own personal present and with all these elements in place attempt to make an ‘ending’.

    The process of an ending (Because… occupying the final room of an exhibition about the final years of Kurt Schwitter’s life) is explored through the use of end credits (to catalogue Because…’s  ‘cast and crew’) being placed at the start of Knots.  Creating a version of the credits , which introduce Pier Paolo Pasolini‘s film  Uccellacci e uccellini [The Hawks and the Sparrows] (1966) in which Ennio Morricone’s opening theme music comically features Domenico Modugno singing the movie’s credits in mock-operatic fashion, the song in Knots similarly celebrates and debunks the complex relationships between people and places that helped realise the installation Because…The sense of playful irreverence is further manifested in the credits which are full of misspellings and confusions, and utilise a form of lorem ipsum placeholder text (filler text) commonly used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation by removing the distraction of meaningful content. The singer too seems to be improvising from these credits in their premature state. The idea of something existing as ‘too late’ and yet simultaneously ‘not ready’ runs through Knots and the rest of the Because… installation: Beginnings and endings in endless flux, functioning reflexively in order to subvert an audience’s expectations about how we normally engage with the order, status and place of a narrative.

    Lyrics to the song that introduces Knots.

    Ahhh schwitters chodsky
    try to end this
    through the kind Kaufman
    and Frank Lloyd Wright
    and some sheds in woods,
    Bloody di da da.
    In the web of
    elements before you, that you see here:
    loose ends, spread wide, tied up.
    MOMA, K. Stout, Hunt-er.
    Yet, still so unsettled and (-shit!-) something else;
    Sutherland, Hudson, oh,
    MOMA, Egolf, Tate, Gott, little bank in Ambleside,
    Victoria and A…   (some other names here).
    The happy entangling,
    the sadder entangling
    Christopher Wilks, Penny Curtis,
    MOMA and Tate…I’ve said already
    and more drawn up into this maelstrom.
    Howard, Seth and Clay, la di do dah.
    Dold, Phil Gates, Shiel, Liam,
    Emma Chambers, many others. Like a family
    and yet not. Did I mention the Tate?
    People like that. Provost. So many left out
    of what I’m reading here, [subtitles read; Grizedale Arts, Ewcwje wpojwk[cw[ RD Laing cbcbccbcbcbcbb PPPasolini xbhbjxbxxnk ect etc]
    whether we like it or not.

    We’ve tried to go right out to the edges
    to gather everyone in,
    across time
    and space,
    to try to make The End. (ing)

    Adam Chodzko discusses Knots in Oozea performative lecture (originally staged at Tate Britain). “An excavated thinking in parallel” about the making of Because...,  in which Chodzko combines fact and fiction, text and moving image in order to build an elaborate narrative about longing, creation and fragmentation, endings and beginnings, networks of people and isolated individuals, separations and notions of home.

    Knots was exhibited in 2022 as part of “Renata, remember you are unconscious…” a solo exhibition of mixed media works by Adam Chodzko at the British School at Rome.

    Related works:

    Because… (2013)  [ installation at Tate Britain, 2013 ]
    Too Soon, Too Late. (The delivery of KCommerzbank stationery to Kurt Schwitters’ Merz Barn, Ambleside, Cumbria, in anticipation of the eventual relocation of the bank’s Head Office).     (2013)  

  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
  • Adam Chodzko / Knots (2013)
    "Knots"; exhibited as part of “Renata, remember you are unconscious..." (2022)