Tom Dale presents a sculptural series of stunt ramps gone horribly wrong: ‘The Cow Palace’ 2008,
‘The Astrodome’, 2008 and ‘Pacific Colosseum’, 2008. The distorted ramps are at once loaded
cultural signifiers and restrained objects of formal contemplation. For Dale the ramps project a leap
of faith, but where this blind optimism is headed is unknown. Some are turned on end, driven into
the ground or twisted like ribbon, leading to the most devastating of trajectories: they take the
daredevil’s bravado to its absurdly logical conclusion. The suspension of belief demanded by this
directionless excess marks a point of fascination for the artist, as do the analogous political
ideologies in the name of which such stunts are regularly performed. Evel Knievel has formed a
recent focus in Dale’s work: the iconic American stuntman was both a philandering ex-criminal with
an instinct for self aggrandisement and a national hero, the living embodiment of patriotism’s
paradoxical blend of recklessness and order.
Tom Dale appears courtesy of Poppy Sebire Gallery.