B&Q, Gillingham and Guildhall Museum, Rochester
13 February – September 2015
Big Screen, Waterfront Pumping Station, Chatham
13 February – 24 April 2015
Press preview: 13 February 2015
An Eye if placed at five Feet above the Surface of the Earth or Sea, sees two Miles & a Quarter every way: but if it be at twenty feet high, it can see 5 3/4 miles.
(words found on the reverse of the Seaton Tool Chest inventory,
from An Introduction to the Use of the Globes, and the
Orrery: As Also the Application of Astronomy to Chronology, 1766)
Inspired by a series of enigmas surrounding the world’s most complete collection of 18th century tools, artist Adam Chodzko’s Great Expectations weaves together past, present and future in a new video and sculpture connecting public spaces in the Medway towns of Gillingham, Rochester and Chatham with the private interiors of home and school. Great Expectations is the final commission in Hoodwink’s three-year programme of site-specific projects in the everyday places of Kent.
Housed in Rochester’s Guildhall Museum, the Seaton Tool Chest is a large wooden cabinet housing the 200 tools that were a gift from cabinetmaker Joseph Seaton to his son Benjamin in 1796. Benjamin had responded to his father’s generosity by using the tools to make a beautiful cabinet to store them in, then never used them again. For Chodzko this act is the perfect symbol of acceptance and rejection between child and parent.
Combining animation and documentary, Chodzko’s video explores these subversive ideas, re-imagining the chest as a conceptual art object transformed into a virtual entity or spaceship in a revolution instigated by the tools. Now living in digital form, the tools narrate their history, a tale of familial, social and cosmic joinery. They also claim to have made Ark Eye, a wooden sculptural object that has crash-landed from their digital universe into ours, to become a sci-fi museum curiosity.
Over six months Great Expectations appears in the consumerist surroundings of a DIY store, the rarefied environment of the museum, as a hyper-real intrusion on a massive screen overlooking a busy bus station and car park, in the domestic residence of a traditional sign-writer and his graphic-designer daughter, and within a school community.
Adam Chodzko’s art explores the interactions and possibilities of human behaviour through video installations and subtle interventions, situated both within the gallery and the wider public realm.
Great Expectations is realised in partnership with The Guildhall Museum Rochester, & Medway Council,
For further information, images and interviews please contact Janette Scott Arts PR on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44(0)7966 486156.
Notes To Editors
Great Expectations, 2015 (9 mins) and Ark Eye 13 February – 26 March, B&Q, Will Adams Way, Gillingham, Kent, ME8 6BY. Open Monday – Friday 07:00 – 20:00, Saturday 07:00 – 19:00 and Sunday 10:00 – 16:00. For more information http://www.diy.com/store/gillingham/BQ_GNG989
Great Expectations, 2015 (9 mins), 13 February – September 2015. The Guildhall Museum, High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1PY. Open Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 17:00. Closed Mondays. Free Admission. For more information http://www.visitmedway.org/places-of-interest/guildhall-museum
Great Expectations, 2015 (9 mins), Big Screen, Chatham Waterfront Pumping Station, Globe Lane, Chatham Kent ME4 4SI.
Great Expectations, 2015 (9 mins), domestic interior,Rochester, 27 March – 24 April 2015.
Great Expectations, 2015 (9 mins), Bradfields Academy Special School, Chatham, Kent, 24 April – 23 July 2015.
Adam Chodzko lives and works in Whitstable, Kent. Since 1991 he has exhibited extensively in international solo and group exhibitions including: Tate Britain; Tate St Ives; Venice Biennale; Royal Academy, London; Raven Row, 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. Recent projects include commissions by Tate Britain, Creative Time, New York, The Contemporary Art Society, Frieze Art Fair, and Hayward Gallery. In 2002 he received awards from the Hamlyn Foundation and the Foundation for Contemporary Art, New York, and in 2007 was awarded an AHRC Research Fellowship at the University of Kent, Canterbury. His work is in the collections of the Tate, The British Council, The British Film Institute, The Arts Council, APT, Auckland City Art Gallery, 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, Towner Gallery Eastbourne, and international private collections. www.adamchodzko.com