Adam Chodzko 2023. exhibition "but as we looked everything began to change": 'outside, to clear my head' (2023) & 'The Valley Unfurls its Song' (2021)  ©

Adam Chodzko

Connections Through Culture 2022-2023 Grant Recipient

Visual artist Adam Chodzko’s Growing a Dream Ecology is a collaborative and socially-engaged visual arts project based around the awkward and slippery subject of nocturnal dreaming. To seek the potential of dreaming as a catalyst to deeper connection between our conscious and unconscious proccesses, its capacity make wild leaps of imagination, and to develop a more rooted form of  well-being. 

Through research and meeting and listening to an amazing and diverse series of Malaysian individuals Chodzko slowly pieced together the significance, complexity, nuance and extraordinariness of the country’s different cultural entanglements with its dream life.   

Project partners:

“but as we looked it suddenly began to change”, was a solo exhibition of Chodzko’s new and recent mixed-media work, presented at Wei-Ling Contemporary in Kuala Lumpur, the gallery of his project partner, Lim Wei-Ling.  The exhibition acted as a base, or anchoring point, for the dream research and dialogue that surrounded it. 

The exhibition (and Chodzko’s accompanying performative lecture and workshop) offered a series of approaches using different dream structures in order to consider experiences of place, identity, representation and communication as well as to address a colonial gaze.  Some works focused on the specificity of very particular locations and communities in Malaysia.  A new video work, Jengkuan, was evolved from Chodzko’s chance discovery, near his home in Kent of an archive of amateur photographic 35mm slides showing Kuala Lumpur’s evolution from the 1960’s through to the 1980’s. The work acts as restitution of this unique imagery through a narrator recounting a previous night’s dream. 

Adam Chodzko 2023. exhibition "but as we looked everything began to change": Performance Talk; "I've tried weaving it. Could i now use it as a sail?" ©

Ivan Lam

'but as we looked it suddenly began to change' Artist Talk and Workshop ©

Adam Chodzko and Wei-Ling Contemporary

“It felt important to ‘lay my cards on the table’ in order to begin our series of conversations in an open and honest state.  I was trying to demonstrate; I’m an artist, not an anthropologist, academic or journalist. I use research processes but then apply that knowledge creatively through the qualities of the visual. My work leads from the world into art and back out into the world again, with all the uncertainty, idiosyncrasy, hyperbole, imagination, embodied understandings, apparent foolishness, risk and wonder that should exist within that dynamic.” - Adam Chodzko

Through this project, Chodzko has gathered a diverse group of Malaysia representatives to act as essential guides to The Dreamshare Seer, a UK process-based participatory project created by the inhabitants of the Isle of Sheppey Kent. It uses Artificial Intelligence to visualise and animate through algorithms the extraordinary imaginations of communities as manifested through nocturnal dreams, in order to continue exploring the capacities of nocturnal dreaming for healing and wellbeing. 

External links