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Adam Chodzko

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art

 

Adam Chodzko is an artist whose multidisciplinary practice explores the interactions and possibilities of human behaviour.

 

Adam Chodzko is an artist whose multidisciplinary practice explores the interactions and possibilities of human behaviour, in the gap between how we are and how we could be. Exhibiting work nationally and internationally since 1991, working across media, from video installation to subtle interventions, and with a practice that partly is sited within the gallery space and partly within the wider public realm, Chodzko’s work explores our collective imagination by wondering how, through the visual, we might best engage with the existence of others.

His art proposes new relationships between our value and belief systems, examining their affect on our communal and private spaces and working with the documents and fictions that control, describe and guide these systems and spaces. Often working directly with the networks of people and places that surround him frequently using forms of anthropology he focuses on the relational politics of culture's edges, endings, displacements, transitions and disappearances through a provocative looking in the 'wrong' place. Chodzko’s practice operates between documentary and fantasy (especially in the form of “science fiction”, using art to propose alternative realities), conceptualism and surrealism and public and private space, often engaging reflexively and directly with the role of the viewer.

Intimate collections and ephemeral communities are frequently generated through his works; assemblies of owners of a particular jacket and a reunion of the children 'murdered' in a Pasolini film; a god look-alike contest; lighting technicians asked to advise on the light in heaven; a London gallery's archive given to a group of Kurdish asylum seekers to edit and hide outside the capital; the multi-faceted Design for a Carnival, the evolution of a ritual event for the future including Settlement, the legal purchase of a square foot of land as a gift to a stranger, Nightshift, a late night parade of nocturnal animals to the Frieze Art Fair, London and M-path, the collection and distribution of perception-changing footwear for gallery visitors. More recently a trilogy science fiction video and mixed media works, Hole, Around and Pyramid, have all explored, the idea of art becoming a vehicle for a community’s collective mythology, whilst Echo, The Pickers and Ghost elaborate these themes through excavating processes of memory, empathy and the imaginary. Because, 2013 (at Tate Britain) and We are Ready for your Arrival, 2013 (at Raven Row) further develop these ideas through manifestations of the unconscious relationships between individuals and groups; their excesses and disappearances.

Since 1991, Chodzko has exhibited at numerous venues around the world including Tate Britain; Tate St Ives; Venice Biennale; Royal Academy, London; Deste Foundation, Athens; PS1, NY; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Kunstmuseum Luzern; Henry Moore Institute, Leeds; Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Athens Biennale; Istanbul Biennial; Benaki Museum, Athens; and Folkestone Triennial. His commissioners include Creative Time, NY; The Contemporary Art Society; Frieze Art Fair; Hayward Gallery and Film And Video Umbrella. Chodzko has been included in many British Council curated international exhibitions of British Art including General Release (1995) in Venice, Micro/Macro: British Art 1996-2002,(2003), Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest, Breaking Step (2007), Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Made in Britain (touring Albania, Greece, and China) and Private Utopia (2014), Japan.

 

Many of Chodzko’s projects, (from 1991-2011) are archived at www.adamchodzko.com.
Selected video works are archived at LUX: http://www.lux.org.uk/collection/artists/adam-chodzko
A selection of more recent work is archived at http://marlboroughcontemporary.com/artists/adam-chodzko/

Additional links:

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Forthcoming projects::

 

Selected publications:

  • Michael Bracewell and Jennifer Higgie, "Adam Chodzko". August publications. ISBN 1902854004
  • Interview with John Slyce, "Looking in the Wrong Place", Dazed & Confused. August 1999, no.57, pp;100-106.
  • David Barrett, "Adam Chodzko", Art Monthly, no.229, September, 1999. pp. 29–31
  • Chris Darke, Jeremy Millar, Polly Staple, Will Bradley. "Plans and Spells: Adam Chodzko", Film and Video Umbrella. 2001 ISBN 0 95386 347 6
  • Adam Chodzko,"Romanov", Book Works,2002. ISBN 978-1870699518
  • Rachel Greene, "Internet Art", Thames and Hudson, pp. 206–207, 2004. ISBN 978-0500203767
  • Jane Rendell, "Art and Architecture: A Place Between", I B Tauris & Co Ltd, pp 30, 32 –33, 2006, ISBN 978-1-84511-222-6
  • Lisa Le Feuvre, Alex Farquharson, Mark Godfrey, Andrea Villani, "Adam Chodzko". Skira,Italy, 2007 ISBN 9788861305663
  • Jaki Irvine, Andrew Wilson, Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith, "Then", 2008. Breaking Ground, Dublin. ISBN 978-1-904662-08-2
  • Martin Clark, Martin Herbert, Lisa Le Feuvre, Andrew Wilson. "Adam Chodzko Proxigean Tide", Tate Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-1-85437-825-5
  • Jane Rendell, "Site-Writing", I B Tauris & Co Ltd, 2010, pp230,232,233. ISBN 978-1845119997
  • Grant Pooke, "Contemporary British Art, An Introduction", 2010, pp206–8, Routledge. ISBN 978-0415389747
  • Emma Chambers and Karin Orchard, "Schwitters in Britain", Tate Publishing[disambiguation needed], 2013, pp136–141. ISBN 978-1849760263
  • Jennifer Higgie, Andrew Renton and Adam Chodzko, "Adam Chodzko, Room for Laarni Image Moderator", Marlborough Contemporary. ISBN 978-1-909693-05-0

 

Selected papers, symposia and conferences:

 

Selected writing:

  • 2014 Mapping it Out, Ed. Hans Ulrich Obrist. pp22-23, Thames and Hudson.
    ‘It was just there; Less like an object and more like the weather’, Dialogue with Hannah Rickards, in Hannah Rickards. To enable me to fix my attention…, pp28-59, MOMA, Oxford.
  • 2013 Artists’ Artists, Frieze Masters 2013, pp.94-95
  • 2013 Life in Film, Frieze, no.158, October, pp62-63
  • 2012 ‘A Water Softening Plant’, Atlas of Kent, N. Mollett, pps80-84, 87. Kent County Council.
  • 2012 ‘We are all very sorry’, On Apology, CCA Wattis, San Francisco, pp.10-11.

 

Selected press release:

 

Selected solo exhiitions and commissions:

  • 2015 Design for a Fold, Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury, Channel, Rupture, Fujiya Gallery, Beppu, Japan (Beppu Triennial), Great Expectations, Guildhall Museum, Rochester, Kent, Deep Above, (via Invisible Dust), Watershed Cinema, Bristol, Rising, National Maritime Museum.
  • 2014 Spare Room, Thinking City, Liverpool Biennale, Liverpool.
  • 2013 You’ll see; this time it will be different, Benaki Museum, Athens, and A Room for Laarni, Image Moderator , Marlborough Contemporary
    Rising, Tyneside Cinema performance and Basic.FM radio broadcast, Great North Run Culture, Newcastle.
  • 2012 Ghost, The Tamar Project, Devon.
  • 2011 Neue Alte Brucke, Frankfurt.
  • 2010 Siakos.Hanappe, Athens.
  • 2008 Proxigean Tide, Tate St Ives.

 

Selected group exhibitions:

  • 2016 Stories in the Dark: Contemporary responses to the Magic Lantern, curated by Ben Judd, Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury.
  • 2015 Video Art, curated by Gayatry Sinha, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai.
  • 2015 Sculpture in the City, Leadenhall Market, London. https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visit-the-city/art-architecture/sculpture-in-the-city/Pages/descriptions-of-artworks.aspx.
  • 2014 Rising, National Maritime Museum.
  • 2014 Alles Maskerade!  MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, Germany.
  • 2014 Time Travel and the Interzone City, Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder. BFI, London.
  • 2014 Somewhat Abstract, Nottingham Contemporary.
  • 2013 We are Ready for your Arrival, Two person exhibition; with Iain Baxter&, Raven Row, London. 
  • 2013 Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video in Britain 2008–2013, Tate Britain.
  • 2013 Because… New commission as part of Schwitters in Britain, Tate Britain, London.

 

Awards:

  • 2015 Shortlist for Jarman Award.  http://flamin.filmlondon.org.uk/jarmanaward.
  • 2011 Liberty Kent Public Art Award.
  • 2010 Visual Art Residency, Cove Park, Argyll and Bute, Scotland.
  • 2007-2010 AHRC Creative Research Fellowship, University of Kent.          
  • 2002 Paul Hamlyn Award, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, NY, USA.
  • 1998 British School in Rome, Scholarship.

 

Collections:

APT, Arts Council Collection, Auckland City Art Gallery, Benaki Museum, Athens, British Council Collection, British Film Institute, Contemporary Art Society Collection, The Creative Foundation, Frac Languedoc-Rousillon, GAM - Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Turin, Grizedale Arts, MAMBo - Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Plains Arts Museum, North Dakota, USA, Saatchi Collection, South London Gallery, Tate Gallery, Towner Gallery Eastbourne, and international private collections.

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Adam Chodzko’s art explores the interactions and possibilities of human behaviour by investigating the space between how we are and how we could be. Working across media, from video installation to subtle interventions, with a practice that is situated both within the gallery and the wider public realm, his work investigates and invents the possibilities of collective imagination through using a poetics of everyday life. By wondering how, through the visual, we might best engage with the existence of others he reveals the realities that emerge from the search for this knowledge.

Chodzko's art proposes new relationships between our value and belief systems, exploring their effect on our communal and private spaces and the documents and fictions that control, describe and guide them. Working directly with the networks of people and places that surround him, often using forms of anthropology, Chodzko focuses on the relational politics of culture's edges, endings, displacements, transitions and disappearances through a provocative looking in the 'wrong' place; a search for knowledge through instability. His art is catalysed by imagining a collapse of the category of Art, requiring not only a new audience but also a new status for the art object. Chodzko’s practice operates in the tight, poetic spaces he evolves between documentary and fantasy, conceptualism and surrealism, and public and private space, often engaging reflexively and directly with the role of the viewer.

Intimate collections and ephemeral communities are frequently generated through his works; assemblies of owners of a particular jacket and a reunion of the children 'murdered' in a Pasolini film; a god look-alike contest; lighting technicians asked to advise on the light in heaven; a London gallery's archive given to a group of Kurdish asylum seekers to edit and hide outside the capital; the multi-faceted Design for a Carnival, the evolution of a ritual event for the future including Settlement, the legal purchase of a square foot of land as a gift to a stranger, Nightshift, a late night parade of nocturnal animals to the Frieze Art Fair, London and M-path, the collection and distribution of perception-changing footwear for gallery visitors. More recently a trilogy science fiction video and mixed media works, Hole, Around and Pyramid, have all explored, the idea of art becoming a vehicle for a community’s collective mythology, whilst Echo, The Pickers and Ghost elaborate these themes through excavating processes of memory, empathy and the imaginary. The Pickers (2009, the editing of a British film archive by a group of migrant Romanian strawberry pickers) and Ghost (2010, a kayak designed by Chodzko for "visiting the dead”), are investigations into processes of how memory, archiving, empathy, identification and the imaginary are shaped by the act of looking. Because, 2013 (at Tate Britain) and We are Ready for your Arrival, 2013 (at Raven Row) and Great Expectations (2015) further develop these ideas through manifestations of the unconscious relationships between individuals, family and groups; their desires, excesses and disappearances.

The theme of physically remote but intimate cross-cultural social networks, operating on both a conscious and unconscious (or even supernatural) level, has been a consistent theme in Chodzko’s work, from the anticipation of digital social-networking communities in the Transmitter series (1990-) and The god Look-Alike Contest (1991) and more recently in the installation A Room for Laarni, Image Moderator (2013). This latter series of mixed-media works are based around the relationship and flow of images between a western European social-networking site (for teenagers) and an image moderator, based in the Philippines, whose job it is to monitor this flood of digital photographs, in order to flag up those whose contents might be deemed ‘bad’.  In Expulsion from the Garden of Eden (2015) Chodzko worked in Beppu Japan, to explore, through re-enactment with a local community, the possible relationships between a group of people ‘captured’ walking through an arcade in a postcard tourist image from the early 1960’s. Invited by the Benaki Museum, Athens, to work with its collection Chodzko made You’ll see; this time it will be different (2013), an exhibition as retrospective, of 20 apparently ‘old’ posters advertising exhibitions (with themes ranging from: Jealous Animals to Unpopularity) of the Benaki Collection, set in the future (2065-2078), and sited in often ‘impossible,’ peripheral spaces, dispersed to the outskirts of Greece. Rising, 2013 (commissioned by Invisible Dust and Great North Run Culture) and Deep Above (commissioned by Invisible Dust  and Wellcome Trust) both are created from Chodzko’s proposition that the language of contemporary art develops into a method for by-passing our psychological blocks concerning climate change.

 

Research Questions:

  1. In what ways does an engagement with chance and contingency enable an art practice that can produce or intervene upon the viewer-participant-artist interaction? How might poetic documentary film’s structure - its use of coincidence and juxtaposition in its presentation of images of reality to reveal a truth – be drawn upon to develop art practice?
  2. How does reflexivity in art practice, the consciousness of the circuit of looks between artist-subject-artwork-viewer, open up a space of encounter that is both public and private? How might the parallel strategies within Conceptual art and Relational Aesthetics contribute to such an art practice? Can reflexivity undermine familiar expectations enabling new processes of identification and the imagining of other realities?
  3. In what ways can art work be created within a public theatrical space of performed dynamic exchange using chance, contingency and ambiguity to produce a reflexivity of looks between the artist-artwork-participant-viewer? How might new social forms of carnival, ritual and myth be created through such an interaction?
  4. How might art practice incorporating historical knowledge affect the subjectivity of viewer-participant-artist by suggesting new and dynamic forms of remembering? In what ways does an artwork made from exchanges with everyday reality (involving participants, site-specificity and incorporating archival documentary) also include the irrational, the unconscious and other realities?
  5. In what ways can art, through its ability to integrate, in dynamic relationships, disparate spheres and forms of knowledge, create new forms of engagement between community, time and place?
  6. Could art, through its particular structures of language and multiplicities of arrangements of knowledge, time, space and memory, if detached from many its current arenas of consumption, serve as a key tool to resist and bypass the hypnotic paralysis apparently generated by neo-liberal culture?
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Currently Chodzko is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Kent's School of Music and Fine Art, based at Chatham’s Historic Dockyard. He is the module convenor for MA Fine Art.

Since 1995 Chodzko has taught on MA and BA Fine Art courses at numerous Higher Education and Further Education Institutions, nationally and internationally including, in the UK; Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Slade School of Fine Art, Goldsmiths University of London, Royal College of Art, Christies Education, Byam Shaw, Nottingham Trent University, Sothebys Education, University for the Creative Arts, Sheffield Hallam University, Liverpool John Moore’s University, Ruskin College, Oxford and the Fine Art departments of Bath, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Middlesex, Nottingham, Newcastle, Plymouth and Sunderland Universities.

In the US: Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh, Rutgers University: NY, and Arizona State University.

In Canada: At the Banff Centre (2011), Canada, Chodzko conceived and ran a month-long intensive programme, based around questions of collective creativity, for established post-graduate artists. http://www.banffcentre.ca/programs/

As well as Fine Art courses he has also contributed as a visiting lecturer to other academic departments including Drama, Film, Curating, Architecture and English.

External examiner for BA Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, 2016 -2019

Examiner for PhD, Goldsmiths College.

PhD supervisor in School of Music and Fine Art, UoK

He is currently part of the research cluster, Double Agents (with Anne Tallentire, and Graham Ellard, Jaki Irvine, Uriel Orlow, and Lisa Panting) http://www.doubleagents.org.uk/about at the London Institute.

Chodzko has also mentored established artists on programmes such as the LUX Associated Artists scheme and in the past on a similar mentoring initiative run by the ICA.

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Last Updated: 15/09/2017