INITIAL REWRITE OF ARTIST STATEMENT – Dustin Cole, January 15th, 2018, 7:18 – 11:58 PM
Tentative title: Adam Dodd’s Patient Chisel: Inter-mobility of the Rubber Linocut
The notions of mobility and in-betweenness appear so germane to each other, they might combine to make a new repertoire of maxims. It is so with Adam Dodd’s linocuts and the resulting prints furnished from said linocuts. The locus of our attention is on his subject: industrial forms, regular forms, barrels, blank signage, the shipping container, the spent beer can. Label scars and dead malls. Our attention should also be on the solitary walker, who collects the vestiges of this human detritus. The solitary walker moves, but his gleanings have moved or facilitated movement as well. Each of these repeated forms is linked to transportation technology as a means, and commercial transport as an end, by which materials pass through space, from productive centres, to processing facilities, to markets and homes and finally on into the landfills. Forms built to maximize and stabilize volumes of cargo. But what Dodd posits sets this functionality of forms at a mid-point instead of at the end-point. The claim becomes existential and eschatological and yet at the same time anti-theological. We are left here with vulgar materials having no auras of their own, as Benjamin argued. There is a coldness in this thought but in that coldness there is light. The barrel was built in Denver, it shipped Albertan oil, and now it is a hornet’s nest in Richmond, back of an alley at the edge of a mechanic’s boneyard. Here we return to those complimentary notions of mobility and in-betweenness, or as Bakhtin says of the novel, its open-endedness, a temporal category: in time unfolding, not sturdy, not stasis, but mutation. The subject is at this riven point where a (non)functioning (un)aesthetical thing becomes a signifier. Industrial forms (ubiquitous, abandoned, annihilated) are resurrected through the patient chisel. A transposition occurs when an object of manufacture and movement becomes a still carving into rubber corridor trim, as if to drive the message home. We should note, too, that carved illustrations of ambulatory mementos rhyme
well with the statue, this sentinel of stillness, because sculptures are temporal works about perspective and form, every sculpture’s subject is the mobility of its audience. On the other hand a flaneur chooses, or by happenstance finds, a path through geographies of people within the city, which is a movement machine, a factory of perspective. And yet another transposition occurs, one into verses or ink prints, where precipitous walls of shipping containers flatten like tesserae, some wallpaper of the future, piercing the tissue of impossibility, roaming around in there. Where is it. The sketchbook maybe. A place where pictures are found in successive stages of linework. Or is it the map. A series of steps. A walk outdoors inside the city, skirting the untended borders of steel mills, alleyways, construction sites, transit terminals and airports— these areas of transition. This is where the detritus is found. Graphite rubbings on the surface of refuse (physical), photographs of blank illuminated advertisement panels on disused bus shelters (ephemeral). There is an underground pathway here, a ley line, a palimpsest of motorized civilization, and your transportation technology could be a ready pair of Cherokee boots.