Next Meeting: Opposite the main entrance to the Ordzhonikidze Health Centre, the Sochi-Matzesta resort… (2007)
Image: On the road to Murree, (40 minutes from Rawalpindi), Pakistan, 1978 , by unknown tourist.
Text: from ‘Going to Russia? A Popular Guide for Tourists’, 1958.
For fly-posting around Toronto.
58.8 x 79.8 cm
For the Next Meeting… series Chodzko uses tourists’ ‘amateur’ photographic images taken on their travels in the 1950’s – early 1980’s and recorded on 35mm slide film, from a large archive that he has collated. These images were originally partly taken to show proof of the photographer/tourist’s proximity to a place, a presence to then be shared through a deferred performance to their friends and family, once home. 35mm positive film could also be seen as being more materially present in the camera (as opposed to a negative used to then make a print) at that exact moment in time and space as the existence of the image. It was there! They were there! Chodzko selects the images according to their capacity to show a particular place in the world whilst demonstrating some evidence of ‘amateurism’ – a wonky angle or a strange composition etc. He also chooses images that indicate evidence of their specific historical moment (eg: through clothes fashions or a car design etc) and even evidence of political changes*. There is also a sense of transition, or loss, in the film’s image quality in terms of colour, grain, scratches and degradation.
Chodzko then juxtaposes these images with a text; travel directions to particular locations (that might exist as a ‘convenient meeting place’), extracted from out-of-date tourist guides published during this same period. Although the details of these directions were accurate at the time of their publishing, Chodzko now chooses them because at least some of their elements have become obsolete; names have changed, businesses have altered etc. They seem to no longer exist in the present, at least as evidenced through any internet search.
So, the Next Meeting… series is a return to two particular places, two moments in time, documented through picture and text, but now ‘fading’ materially, spatially, temporarily. Brought together as an edition of lithographic posters each work in the series has just one location in the world where it is exhibited (by flyposting), in a remote but public place. There’s the place of the image, the place of the text, and the place of the flyposting with the dialogue between them catalysed by the disparity of their associations; A series of folds, loops, a collage, a hyperstition, a form of poem creating a vibration between three sites and moments that were definitely there, and yet somehow manage to partially and precariously remain suspended in a state of there/here. The works are made from a drawing together that elicits a sense of loss, melancholia, absurdity, and surreality. Who will attend this meeting in the future? Is it open to all of us? As with so much of Chodzko’s practice the work explores the space that opens up with an event that is ‘next’, existing in a state of imminence, yet can also be in relation to specific time and places that are now long gone?
It is about being suspended between these places which are other, and yet whose words and imagery combine to make a new space (and time) that feels somehow, but impossibly, familiar: I know this place!
From: Lisa Le Feuvre, Not Failing in Adam Chodzko Proxigean Tide, 2008, Tate Publishing.
In Toronto a poster declaring ‘next meeting: opposite the main entrance to the Ordzhonikidze Health Centre, the Sochi-Matzesta Resort between Sochi and Khosta, along the Black Sea coast, Krasodat Krai, Russia’ was flyposted on to hoardings. The image shows a street of brightly coloured buildings with hand-painted Arabic signage. They sit against a backdrop of mountains while in the foreground, on a washed-down road, people go about their daily business. When first distributed around Toronto in 2007 a local blog site, shedoesthecity.com, pondered over this poster’s reference, assuming it to be either an information or advertising flyer. The correspondent, Lizzie McNeely, followed a sleuth-like trail via Google and Wikipedia only to be led nowhere. The circulation and reception of these artworks are direct and indirect, experienced and rumoured, approached as artwork and as consumer information. Advertising tells us what to think; and providing we are the target consumer profile, will seduce us into feeling some kind of comforting sense of belonging. Such communication strategies are overburdened with content producing passive reception. Advertising sets up an expectation of satisfaction. Chodzko is not concerned with constructing the closed, complete and expressive set of answers this approach creates. His practice is directed towards discomfort, interrogation and making things difficult. Speaking of other works, Chodzko has said: ‘Within each work that I make there are certain anchoring points; places that seamlessly combine the world as it was before the artwork and the artwork that now exists. I cannot unpick this because I am as unsure as the viewer as to what is real and what is not.’*
*Cell a-2006 in Adam Chodzko, Peter Fillingham, Jeremy Millar, Terry Perk, ‘Artracks’, 2004, p.15
Next Meeting: Opposite the main entrance to the Ordzhonikidze Health Centre, the Sochi-Matzesta resort… 2007. [Image: Pakistan, 1978. Text: Russia, 1958. Flyposted around Toronto, 2007]
Next Meeting: The foyer of the Hagens Hotel, Måløy, Sogn og Fjordane, on the island of Vågsøy… 2007. [Image: Mexico City, 1973. Text: Norway, 1975. Flyposted onto a hoarding, Balbutcher Lane, Ballymun, Dublin 11, Ireland.]
Next Meeting: The car park of the plywood factory, just north of the town of Tolhóin … 2008 [Image: Tashkent, 1967. Text: Tierra Del Fuego, 1991. Flyposted onto a single billboard on the coastal path between St Ives and Zennor, Cornwall.]
Next meeting: Beside the TV transmitter on the highest part of Szechenyi Hill…2010 [Image: Haiti, 1971. Text: Budapest, 1967. Flyposted around Esperidon Square, Glyfada, Athens, 2010.]Next meeting: In the entrance to the Golf-Club restaurant, past the Konak, in the Košutnjak Park… 2011. [Image: Ecuador,1968. Text: Yugoslavia, 1966. Flyposted on the ground floor windows of Hafenstrasse 23, 60327 Frankfurt am Main,
A direct precursor to the series is: Looper (2003) [Image: Stockholm. Text: Haiti. Flyposted onto a single billboard hoarding in Turin]
The Next meeting… series intersects with many elements of Chodzko’s practice involving assembling, signalling, announcing and transmitting forms of ‘loops’ into public space, ranging from Reunion; Salò (1998), Meetings of people with stammers to describe a fire (1999-), Better Scenery (2000 – ), We love you here, even though you are there (2012), Runners (2013) etc. As with Better Scenery (2000 – ), Ants Choose Position for Sequins – 2 Seconds Interval (2003), White Magic (2005), Pattern for a Procession with Two Masks (2007) Because… (2013) and O, you happy roots, branch and mediatrix (2020) etc, Next meeting…operates in the vibrating space between two apparently disconnected sites apparently communicating with each other.