Friday, July 25, 2008

Dodging

Jason Dodge’s art contains such a lightness of touch that you could wander past a galleries windows without realising that any work was inside, his sculptures using found objects are in most cases the remnants of processes and actions. The overlooked objects and actions are removed from their original context and through their isolation from their original situations they sit within the gallery as a poetic resonance of recent history and indicators of quiet traditions.

In Gallery one one one Dodge’s collection of art works employ a diverse variety of media. In one work we may ponder the accumulated history and disparate nature of career, labour, employment and social hierarchy. The pockets of a pilot, window washer, acrobat, ballet dancer and judge have been cut from their trousers and placed in the order of the altitude at which these roles are practiced. In another piece a series of photographs have been produced by exposing photographic paper to the light of the summer solstice at a variety of global locations, hung side by side these simple photographs chart the same moment in history at different locations, we see a shared history and experience affected by natural forces and altered by location.

The exhibition at Gallery one one one also houses the work of Tereza Buskova in its lower gallery and is titled ‘Rituals’ and it is in one work in particular that the concept of ritual is most evident, the work “Ringing through Chimneys, A bell attached to the brush of chimney sweep Jörg Häuseler during the spring chimney cleaning in a neighbourhood in Berlin”. This appropriation of a necessary and practical seasonal activity becomes an event, an indicator of tradition and history, in Dodge’s hands the forming of this activity as an event by the addition of a small bell to the sweeps brush makes the necessary and practical a ritual. Perhaps this simple act has with Dodge’s intervention turned the practical and overlooked into a modern ritual that will now become an indicator of local history and identity, whether in the future this addition will remain is not significant, the significance in all Dodge’s actions and art works is the ability to see the social and cultural repercussions that all activities no matter how small may make. Whether these social and cultural activities remain and become tradition or are lost to history is unimportant, what I believe Dodge can show us is that when we place the most seemingly insignificant actions and processes within a site or locality or if those actions move from being personal and individual to being adopted by others that we all individually can have very significant and powerful effects on shaping our environment and its history.

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