Proxigean Tide [exhibition at Tate St Ives] (2008)
Solo Exhibition: Adam Chodzko, Proxigean Tide at Tate St Ives, May –Sept 2008.
From the press release for Adam Chodzko Proxigean Tide:
Adam Chodzko (b.1965) is an artist who works directly with the people and places that surround him, often peripheral communities that define themselves through their own rituals and folklore. Tate St Ives is the first public gallery in the UK to present a selected survey of Chodzko’s work from the past fifteen years – over half of which has never been seen in the UK – alongside a major new commission produced especially for this show. St Ives, with its location on the very edge of the British Isles and its rich local history and traditions, provides a fertile context in which to re-examine his work.
Chodzko uses a wide variety of media including video, performance, posters, sculpture, sound, photography and installation. His highly imaginative works draw on narrative, cultural and filmic traditions, often using the seductive but slippery device of storytelling, or contemporary mythologies, to create a space pitched somewhere between documentary and fantasy, the extraordinary and the everyday. Chodzko will produce a new work especially for Tate St Ives that engages directly with the architecture of the building, as well as the various communities living in and around the town. Taking the form of a storage or changing room located in the building’s Heron Mall, it will gather together the winter clothing and cold weather kit from numerous local clubs, societies, groups, individuals and industries. These garments will be collated, catalogued, stored and displayed for the duration of the summer exhibition.
Another gallery will be devoted to the multi-faceted Design for a Carnival, an ongoing project that charts the evolution of a ritual event set in the future. It comprises numerous works including elaborate, handmade ‘masks’ for video and photographic cameras; a dubplate recording the music from a future carnival float; a burning pyre of baseball caps; an haute couture dress designed to clothe a wind turbine; and documentation of a colony of ants distributing sequins amongst their anthill.
A screening room will be created to show a selection of Chodzko’s video works including Hole 2007, Around 2007 and Yet 2005, produced, respectively, for Museum d’arte Moderna, Bologna, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin and apexart, NewYork, and never before shown in the UK.
Martin Clark, Artistic Director of Tate St Ives, from the foreward to the Proxigean Tide catalogue:
“…This exhibition at Tate St Ives, Proxigean Tide, is the most comprehensive survey to date of the work of Adam Chodzko, one of Britain’s most respected contemporary artists. Since 1991 Chodzko has been making works that consistently challenge our preconceptions of the possibilities and place of artistic practice, and the very nature and mutability of the world around us. Chodzko’s art takes various forms and occupies numerous kinds of spaces both inside and outside the museum or gallery: from video and slide installations to adverts placed in newspapers and magazines; from posters appearing on city centre hoardings to an exchange of clothing, a removal or a gift. In his work the conventions of the everyday and the ubiquity of the visible world are gently destabilised and disrupted, opening up possibilities for entirely new and previously unimagined perspectives, positions and interactions. His works are invariably performative, they enact rather than simply represent; every aspect of their production, dissemination and reception is brought into play through his complex, holistic, but open-ended approach. Works are set in the past as well as the future, they oscillate precariously between fiction and fact, documentary and fantasy, as objects, images and actions become obscure catalysts for enigmatic rumours, extraordinary stories and unstable, intricate mythologies. For Proxigean Tide Chodzko has created three new works: Borrowed Cold Lodge, a major new installation produced for the very special environment of the Heron Mall at Tate St Ives; Meetings, a new addition to an ongoing poster project located on the coastal path between St Ives and Zennor; and Memory Theatre (which appears as a special project in Tate Etc. magazine and as the end-papers in this book). He is also presenting another work for the first time, Test Tone for Landscape, installed in the building’s iconic Loggia. Elsewhere in the galleries we have brought together works spanning the last 17 years including videos, sculpture, photography, posters, sound works, drawings, slide projections and photographs. Through the non-linear, non-chronological juxtaposition of these works in the procession of spaces at Tate St Ives, various dialogues are initiated and explored. In his approach to the show – as well as the very particular location and history of this extraordinary place – Chodzko has responded in a typically insightful and unconventional way, engaging with the unique context of the building, the community and the landscape…”
Excerpt from Postcard from St. Ives — Adam Chodzko ‘Proxigean Tide’, by Ed Atkins, for Artvehicle.
…We’ve come here to see Adam Chodzko’s retrospective exhibition and are pretty excited. For some reason, he doesn’t seem to have fully-fledged representation in the UK …and consequently it’s quite hard to see his work – particularly in any numbers. This is, I’ve always thought, a shame, not least because his work – more so than almost any other artist’s that I can think of – functions at its best cumulatively. The luxury of any sort of overview is, therefore, exciting…
List of works exhibited as part of Proxigean Tide:
Memory Theatre (A slide of a sun temple’s sacrificial altar, a modified skylight in the Loggia’s dome at Tate St Ives, an Extreme Proxigean Spring Tide, and the correct angle of the sun.)
Double-page magazine project
Tate Etc, issue no.13, pp.26, 27
Billboard poster located on the coastal path between St Ives and Zennor:
Next Meeting: The car park of the plywood factory, just north of the town of Tolhóin … (2008)
Test Tone for Landscape (2005). (as sound)
Borrowed Cold Lodge (2008)
Upper Gallery 2
The music from Float 17, as it stops briefly under the fly-over, as it makes its way in to the city (2003)
Baseball Hat Pyre (2003)
Guide for a Parade with Two Masks (2004)
Pattern for a Procession with Two Masks (2007)
Plan for a Parade with Two Masks (2004)
Mask Filter (2004), Mask Filter (2007), Mask Filter (2008)
White Magic (2005)
Test Tone for Landscape (2005) (as object)
Meetings of people with stammers to describe a fire (1999-)
This Is It (1992)
Ants Choose Position for Sequins – 2 Seconds Interval (2003)
Turning Point (2007)
A Plan for a Spell (2001)
Meetings of people with stammers to describe a fire (1999-)
Better Scenery (2000 – )
Untitled Stile (Teenage Version) (1991)
Next Meeting: Opposite the main entrance to the Ordzhonikidze Health Centre, the Sochi-Matzesta resort… (2007)
Next Meeting: The foyer of the Hagens Hotel, Måløy, Sogn og Fjordane, on the island of Vågsøy… (2007)
Night Shift (2004)
Transmitters (1991 – )
Inverter (Clearance Sale) (1999)
Cleaner (a story) (1997)
Longshore drift, early detroit techno and other processes of erosion… (performance lecture at St Ives Arts Club)
Adam Chodzko Proxigean Tide; A monograph designed by Claudia Schenck accompanying the exhibition. It includes critical texts written by Martin Herbert, Andrew Wilson, Lisa Le Feuvre and Martin Clark (2008).
Proxigean Tide exhibition flyer
Other design proposals for the front cover of the Proxigean Tide exhibition catalogue.
Chodzko’s sketch plans for Gallery 2
All gallery installation photographic images by Steve Tanner