Suddenly we all began… (2013)
Circus posters from 1970 – 2013, wallpaper paste, window
[an ongoing series]
Suddenly we all began… is a series of circus posters, each incorporating a laughing clown (sometimes derived from the same source image) from 1980’s –2000, advertising circuses taking place around the world. These flyers are pasted in a mixed chronological order in terms of their superimposition over each other. Usually these posters appear on hoardings, lamposts and empty shopfronts to signal the arrival of a circus, temporarily, usually on the periphery of the city, on wasteland or in parks. At Marlborough Contemporary they have been pasted to the exterior of a gallery window from an atrium space in a very affluent, traditional and commercial area of London in a way that looks like a defacing of the clean elegance of the gallery and its high art contents. The repeated motif of the laughing clown, already an excessive image of carnivalesque fun, appears even more manic through its numerous temporal and geographic iterations.
A previous version of this piece was made in 2010 at the height of Greece’s economic crisis, in Athens at the Siakos Hanappe gallery, on the exterior of its main window.
Suddenly we all began… (its title alluding to a collective change of behaviour or approach) is part of Adam Chodzko’s installation Room for Laarni, Image Moderator (2013) which collectively explores the experience of being psychologically overwhelmed by the process of relentlessly viewing imagery flowing between communities. Chodzko researches this through trying to empathise with the character of Laarni, a remote image moderator for a social media site. Suddenly we all began… becomes one of the categories of image that Chodzko imagines Laarni is filtering into a group, a folder, on her computer screen (along with the other works in the exhibition, but particularly Too, and Sleepers). Although this sequence of circus posters seems to exist, somehow, beyond her screen.
An earlier version of Suddenly we all began…. was exhibited in Athens 2010.
Room for Laarni, Image Moderator catalogue
Conversation between Jennifer Higgie, Andrew Renton, Adam Chodzko
Editor Andrew Renton. Published November, 2013
Download pdf of catalogue