Design for a Carnival 1996 – is a group of works that chart the evolution of a carnival event set in the future. Included here are a dub plate test recording for The Music from Float 17 2003 – an eclectic mix which imagines the music that might be playing whilst the float pauses, briefly, under a flyover – and a series of Polaroid photographs documenting a burning pyre of baseball caps. This is a carnival where all the old clichés, fixed hierarchies and stereotyped commodities have been removed, reworked or replaced. It is as if Chodzko is searching for a new form of community festival where the urban, rural and global are re-mixed to create a new model of engagement. The Mask-Filters 2004 are hand-made carnival masks designed to attach to video and photographic cameras. They are the means by which Design for a Carnival could be documented. Designed to ‘mix things up a bit’, these filters blur the edges between viewer and subject, between performer and audience. Calling to mind ritual or fetish objects from primitive cultures, the strange abstracted patterns they create on film act as a kind of interference, hallucination or psychedelic veil. Chodzko has used the Mask-Filters to create a number of slide projections such as Pattern for a Procession with Two Masks 2007.
White Magic 2005, originally a slide projection but shown here as a DVD, is also part of Design for a Carnival. Chodzko purchased a selection of green garments from a local charity shop in his home town of Whitstable, Kent. He took these garments to New York where he donated them to a thrift store in Brooklyn. At the same time he purchased all the red clothes in the thrift store, which he brought back to the UK and donated to the original charity shop. Through a simple process of collection and dispersal of clothing, the DVD records some sort of ritualistic colour performance. Yet the key part of the work is ‘outside’ what is seen in the film, and is unknown to the buyers who become unwitting participants. The clothes slowly disperse further as they are purchased, taken home, and worn by the people living in those communities – a process which Chodzko describes as being ‘like a drop of coloured ink dripped into water, which slowly spreads out and dissipates’.
Also in Upper Gallery 2 are the record sleeves for the vinyls of Test Tone for Landscape (see Loggia) as well as maps and plans of the Loggia that are all part of this work. Each sleeve was made from the same walnut-veneered bed headboard. Chodzko plans for each record to be owned by a different collector, thereby physically dispersing the work across the world.