outside, to clear my head      (2023)

  • Adam Chodzko / outside, to clear my head      (2023)
  • Adam Chodzko / outside, to clear my head      (2023)
    1) https://what3words.com/asteroids.stranger.stopovers
  • outside, to clear my head      (2023)

    7 diptychs
    Pigments on paper
    Each diptych: 42cm x 29.7cm, 29.7cm x 21cm


    outside, to clear my head’ is an ongoing series of drawings by artist Adam Chodzko that explore a process of empathic connection with a site. The sketches are based on the visualising of a short imaginary “walk” across a small area of land, somewhere the artist has never visited before. Chodzko realises these by doing the “walk” remotely in his mind, as though dreamt as premonition, using Google Earth and the geocoding system https://what3words.com/.

    These ‘remote viewing’ drawings are paired as contrasting dyptichs; with one part forming an abstracted, aerial, or internal organic – gut – perception of these specific sites within the landscape, and the other a more literal yet surreal, figurative, absurd, montage of the what3words’ random word combinations. The creation of each of the seven dyptichs is sketched over the duration of an hour, paralleling Chodzko’s imaginary slow passage along this new path.

    For this particular exhibition at Wei-Ling Contemporary, Chodzko’s “walk” takes place near the village of Pos Simpor*, near Gua Musang, Kelantan. He heads off a path and into the jungle in the direction of the Sungai Perias river, moving across seven consecutive 3m² patches of land, each with its own combination of three random words allocated to it in order to geo-locate it. The what3words system inevitably catalyses surreal imagery in the mind, yet Chodzko wonders if, despite its randomness, it could also offer some strange logical meaning to understanding that particular site?  (eg: There are some coincidental references to perceiving; of watching, fascination and eavesdropping. And also to excess; overwork, implode, gridlocked and surges). We can wonder; why do these random terms happen to coincide at this particular site?

    The drawings in this series are guided by the artist’s mixed feelings about the necessity for artistic practice to be explored somewhat alone and lost.  They also reveal the absurdity of being present and grounded somewhere totally unique and specific in the world, but with a mind constantly haunted by “elsewhere.”  The sketches evolve from a flowing experience of place, leaking between memory, association, past and present, body interior with external landscape, and the aerial with the subterranean. Chodzko sees the drawings as a tension or play between different qualities of constraint, limitation, and freedom.  They also suggest different positions of consciousness from which to perceive a state of “being in place.”

    *This location was recommended through discussion with Wendi Sia from Gerimis. Wendi had made several visits to the community in this area.
    Coincidentally, this site is also in close proximity to an area of anthropological fieldwork research with a Temiar Orang Asli community conducted by Sue Jennings (UK) in the 1970’s and documented in her book: “Theatre, Ritual and Transformation: The Senoi Temiars” by Sue Jennings. Published by Routledge (1995).
    Bah Saluji, Semai artist and illustrator, in his children’s book, Biar Pete de Besuara (Semai for ‘Let the Maps Speak’) reveals the challenges to the  extractive invasion of Orang Asli space by industrial logging and plantations.  The Semai have never used aerial topographic mapping to document their land. Instead they communicate their directions through the forest by features they encounter through traversing it laterally.  To claim their land rights they are now having to modify their spatial consciousness to visualise in an embodied way, not just through, but simultaneously above, by employing GPS tracking bounced off satellites high above their jungle.

    *‘outside, to clear my head’  was originally made for the solo exhibition “But as we looked it suddenly began to change” which took place at Wei-Ling Contemporary gallery in Kuala Lumpur, May 2023.  In collaboration with gallery director, Wei-Ling Lim, the exhibition and its wider research project was supported by an award by the British Council’s Connections Through Culture. (Connections Through Culture is British Council’s arts collaboration and mobility grant, a programme to seed cultural exchanges between the United Kingdom and Southeast Asia).

    See also ‘outside, to clear my head’  (2020-2022)

  • Adam Chodzko / outside, to clear my head      (2023)
    2) https://what3words.com/doorway.implode.collaborating
  • Adam Chodzko / outside, to clear my head      (2023)
    3) https://what3words.com/motivational.sinus.eavesdrop
  • Adam Chodzko / outside, to clear my head      (2023)
    4) https://what3words.com/rhythmical.overwork.fields
  • Adam Chodzko / outside, to clear my head      (2023)
    5) https://what3words.com/inflates.fascinate.gridlocked
  • Adam Chodzko / outside, to clear my head      (2023)
    6) https://what3words.com/bowls.watcher.meows
  • Adam Chodzko / outside, to clear my head      (2023)
    7) https://what3words.com/gardener.surges.miniskirts
  • Adam Chodzko / outside, to clear my head      (2023)
    detail of flow for 'asteroids.stranger.stopovers'