1m x1m trough installed in the entrance to Signal Gallery, Malmö, Sweden, as a doormat, for visitors to walk through when entering the gallery.
From containers surrounding it, a mixture was made for this trough, from the following ingredients:
(a) 1 ton of 16,000 year old mud moraine from the
excavation of the Citytunnel, Malmö.
(b) 50 litres of rainwater collected from the roof of Rooseum, Center for Contemporary Art.
(c) 1 million wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) seeds.
Sowmat, was installed in the entrance to Adam Chodzko’s solo exhibition at Gallery, Malmö, Sweden during the winter. Anticipating that visitors to the gallery upon entering the pristine space of the gallery would normally wipe the city’s wet and dirt from their feet, Chodzko instead created a ‘mat’ that would add a particular form of dirt. Using 1 ton of 16,000 year old mud moraine taken from the deep hole excavated near to the gallery, for the the Citytunnel, Malmö, mixed with 1 million wormwood seeds and watered with the rainwater collected from the leaking roof of the now closed Rooseum, Center for Contemporary Art visitors to the exhibition would spread this mess inadvertently as they viewed the exhibition. Seeds distributed within the gallery if germinated would soon die in the barren conditions but there was potential for the seed and earth mix clinging to the soles of the shoes of the visitors as they left the exhibition to become disseminated across the city and ultimately cultivate a forest of Wormwood within the centre of Malmö.
Like many of Chodzko’s works before Sowmat (eg: Plan for a Spell or Ants Choose Positions for Sequins) or since (eg: O, you happy roots, branch and mediatrix) the work involves a process whereby specific ingredients, if assembled in the correct order, have the apparent capacity to create a revelation, the artwork hovering in the space of this potential. Sowmat also operates as a threshold (specifically towards a form of vision), connecting it to Untitled Stile (Teenage Version) (1991), Untitled [boundary] (1991), Night Shift (2004), M-path (2006), Hole (2007) and Borrowed Cold Lodge (2008), etc. whilst also identifying a powerful or magical patch of earth (eg: cell-a (2002), Settlement (2004), A Hostile Environment (2019) and Holding the Earth this Way, (2022)).
The exhibition at Signal, Malmö also presented: Turning Point, (2007) a performance involving a car breaking down at the exact mid-point of the Øresund Bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen and inorout, a conversation with an opening door, together with the film piece Yet (2006).
From the Signal Gallery, press release:
All works depart from a kind of archaeological search where a retrieval/recycling of waste, excess, historical and scientific facts, tall stories, myths and conspiracy theories compose new narratives that operate between fact and fiction. The different parts in the exhibition at Signal form the ingredients for a spell with the potential to protect and heal the city. An important aspect of Adam Chodzko’s work is the inclusion of chance, coincidence and what presents itself during the working process in terms of information, encounters and found material involving misunderstandings, misreadings and collapses inadvertently appearing to provide the edges of parallel possibilities.
A Hostile Environment (2019)
April – May 2000 Arc Ark (2010)
Because… (2013) [ installation at Tate Britain, 2013 ]
Desert Island (2013)
I See Through Every Image. (A souvenir for Laarni; A planting template for Belladonna seeds), 2013
O, you happy roots, branch and mediatrix [live] (2020)
O, you happy roots, branch and mediatrix (2020)
Slip. A Flying Prison (2011)
The woods shall rise up in those places where you pause (1995)
Untitled Stile (Teenage Version) (1991)
Untitled [boundary] (1991)
Ants Choose Position for Sequins – 2 Seconds Interval (2003)