Production stills from video installation with sound. 12 minutes.
Video with sound, 12 minutes,
and mixed media installation, Folkestone
Commissioned by Folkestone Triennial
Excerpt available from YouTube
Adam Chodzko -Text on ‘Pyramid’ for Folkestone Triennial catalogue
Looking back at the Leas Cliff from the tip of the longest rock jetty in front of it you can see a thick horizontal canopy of trees. Although, you don’t really see the trees. Instead what you see is the hole, the puncture mark made by the projecting balcony of the Leas Cliff Hall, like a wound from a splinter. Close up, underneath this structure is a stark space which feels as though it shouldn’t be there hovering instead from another time and space. Like those chambers of abrupt angles glimpsed under fly-over bridges as you drive along a motorway; Back-stage space (the shallow ‘real’ space left over from supporting an illusion), the start of an Inca temple, the entrance to a nuclear bunker, the legs of a pylon, cathedral buttress, section of space ship…big things! I normally stay clear of pumped- up art objects but staring into this odd void I felt like making a grotesquely large sculpture. But to do this without any materials and to build it using the structure of a half-sleep state.
The Leas Cliff Hall above is a large concert hall. Metallica and Roy Chubby Brown play there, separately. Under its overhang is a condensed amalgamation of architectural motifs, like the storage at the back of a Cecil B DeMille film set; classical columns, a wooden stockade and most strikingly, the steel skeletons of four enormous pyramids. Ominously the pyramids are facing downwards. Bad luck. The town’s fortunes had been declining and on 28th April 2007 it suffered an earthquake. I was wondering what this town collectively dreams at night.
I like the idea of art works that become so lugubrious with significance that they collapse. And too the notion that the destruction of a relationship in the future would somehow send out fragments into the present; tangible ruins having emanated from a fantasy about what happens next. Can you get ghosts entering the present from the future?
There’s nothing really there. So, I make a video that records an hallucinatory ritual that the town performs to lift the curse of the pyramid inversion. The pyramids need acknowledging; building out of a fantastic material, then inverting so that they point skyward, then celebrating this through a concert in the concert hall above, and then destroying it all, dragging the pyramids’ remains out to sea so that nothing is left. But all this could not occur without some kind of trace and there remains, beyond the video, a sign that indicates the marks in the landscape from this ‘party’; the remains of some glue, a twisted stone pine, a shattered rock…a few scars.
So, there’s nothing really there afterwards (or is it before?) apart from a misinterpretation panel. And perhaps a rumour growing, gossip that gets passed on about what happened in this place. Everything else is just a support structure for this myth.