Zazou Roddam, Pop Inflection (The City), 2022–23, single-channel video, colour, sound, 7:34 mins

Zazou Roddam, Synchronous Tower 1, 2023, reclaimed leather, aluminium frame, 41 × 31 × 3cm

Zazou Roddam, Synchronous Tower 1 (detail), 2023, reclaimed leather, aluminium frame, 41 × 31 × 3cm

Zazou Roddam, Curtain Wall, 2023, aluminium, glass, 88 × 64 × 20cm

Zazou Roddam, Curtain Wall, 2023, aluminium, glass, 88 × 64 × 20cm


Zazou Roddam

16 November – 16 December 2023

Pop Inflection is a meditation on the contemporary city – presented in three acts.

Pop Inflection (The City) reconstructs segments from the popular HBO television series ‘Sex and the City’ which aired between 1998 to 2004. The video isolates only ‘the City’ – removing its famous quartet of female characters, to focus instead on spliced together clips of New York. Sequenced in chronological order, Pop Inflection (The City) presents a passage of time witnessed from the perspective of the urban metropolis. Beginning in 1998, the video opens with a multitude of aerial shots, panning the glittering Manhattan skyline that New York is so well-known. As time progresses, and crosses into the new millennium, we witness a subtle shift in the city’s rhythm. Transitioning away from sprawling skylines, the perspective narrows – becoming increasingly intimate and insular. Parks, churches, sidewalks and public sculptures begin dominating the screen, reducing the city to a more generic portrait. Accompanied by an original score produced by musician Luca Mantero, the video is a phantasmagoric unfolding of time, charting the change and inflections of a city.

The ‘synchronous’ office chair is an archetype of the corporate workplace. In Synchronous Tower, the artist has repurposed the leather from dozens of these discarded chairs found across London and New York. Laboriously constructed through the flattening, stripping and stitching of each chairs’ tough leather skin – these ‘bricks’ are sewn together in the traditional bricklaying style that is seen throughout London’s architecture. Years of repetition and routine are physically evident through the leather’s worn-down fibers: slashed, torn and frayed, they each offer unique traces of the chairs’ anonymous past owners. Assembled together as a three-storey tower, the leather triptych grows into a fictional facade of its own. Looming above us, it represents both the individual worker, and the ubiquitous silhouette of a distant building.

Curtain Wall shares its title with the architectural term for a non-structural exterior, which acts like the ‘skin’ of a building. Made from assorted glass across a 21-part coloured grid, the windows reflect the pixelated sunsets seen in Pop Inflection (The City). This twilight period between sunset and dusk signifies the close of a working day, as well as regulating our circadian rhythm. While the translucent panels imitate the spectrum of a transitioning sky, they also refer to the use of colour theory in public spaces – the pop-psychology that relates the effects of different colours on our mood and behaviours. Resembling the gallery’s stained glass above, Curtain Wall protrudes alongside, offering us a tinted lens to the outside world.

Zazou Roddam
(b. 2000, London) studied at the International Center of Photography (ICP), New York. Recent exhibitions include: ABSOLUTE SELL OUT, 126 Eldridge Street, New York, 2023, Spew, Waste Space, London, 2023. She lives and works between London and New York..