Pyramid

Chodzko has long been interested in collapsing past, present and future in his work in order to create alternate realities. In a number of film, slide and photographic works he has invented fictitious scenarios, set in a not-too-distant future, that blend the familiar with the strange. Through fantasy, wonder and make-believe, they compel us to re-consider our sense of place and community.

According to Adam Chodzko Folkestone was once gripped by a superstitious fear of inverted pyramids. The triangulated beams designed to support the wide back of the leas cliff hall might to some look like a clever piece of engineering, but there was a time when many thought of them as an unfortunate choice of structure. Residents believed that any misfortune that fell on the town and the people of Folkestone a not slow to voice a grievance, was due to a jinx brought on by these ill-fated shapes, and so, says Chodzko they set about creating an elaborate ritual to upright the pyramids and break the curse. Evidence of this he claims can be found scattered around the surrounding landscape. You don’t believe him? The council even erected an information sign telling people about it so it has to be true, doesn’t it?

In Kent, England’s oldest county, there is no shortage of genuine history, but Chodzko has dreamt up a piece of Folkestone past and attempted to slip it into the town’s official identity. But paying close attention to the style in which factual information is presented, he transforms an invented story into something resembling credible evidence. He enjoys playing with our perceptions of truth, blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction, drawing us in using our willingness to be seduced by a good narrative, and then leaves us stranded for a bewildering moment or two in a kind of no man’s land between documentary and fantasy. What makes the path Chodzko leads us up particularly treacherous is his ability to engage and include the people and places around him.

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