Gallery 5

Adam Chodzko Around 2007 production still

Adam Chodzko
Around 2007
Production still

© Adam Chodzko

Projections of the three films Around 2007, Hole 2007 and Yet 2006 can be seen in Gallery 5, and relate to particular projects and locations where Chodzko has worked. All three films explore and question ideas about language, location and boundaries.

Around was commissioned by Breaking Ground in Ireland and was shot in Ballymun, a notorious housing scheme run by the Dublin Corporation. The film appears to revolve around the research of a city regeneration planner who is investigating evidence of strange phenomena that occur at the boundary of the housing estate. The elusive narrative, distorted soundtrack and mixture of daylight, twilight and night-time shots suggest an unstable, mutable reality and another kind of history for this place.

Hole was premiered at the Museo d’Art Moderna di Bologna in December 2007, soon after it had opened. This film involves the imagined relationship between the new art museum and a woman who daily transmits a description of her emotional state to an enormous LED sign mounted on the side of the building. Shot to appear like a documentary, the film mixes reality and fantasy to produce a series of uncertainties around the institution. At the beginning and the end of the film there are shots of adults and children touching and looking into five holes that the artist made in the marble façade of the museum, where the supposed sign would have been fixed. The holes remain there permanently, traces of something now removed that never existed.

Yet, with a voiceover in Finnish, Cantonese and English, recounts how a ‘group of IKEA employees’ go to a local landfill site to try and retrieve some data that had been accidentally thrown away. Instead they find some bags of archive documents, which triggers a sequence of events, characters and places. Embedded within this is the juxtaposition of organic plant life with technology and data. The voiceover talks of plants dying and time accelerating at the beginning of the film, while at the end the plants begin to recover as ‘time…stood…still’.

Through these works, the specific devices available to the filmmaker are manipulated and deconstructed at every turn. Chodzko’s ability to combine the marginal with the mythic, and to contrast the archival with the futuristic suggests that normality or reality is constructed and contingent too. We are, perhaps, reminded that greater knowledge does not always lead to greater understanding.

Adam Chodzko Installation view at Tate St Ives, 2008 six

Adam Chodzko
Installation view at Tate St Ives 2008

© Tate