mythology, he details spaces setfor potential drama. But, unlikeBowie in ‘Craed Actor’, our mainprotagonists are absent. ey havestepped out. ey are o set. Weare le to project our imaginationinto the assemblage of metonymicaccoutrements. Props drawn froma myriad of sources collide in afastidious montage. e resultingcollages initiate the details of lode
stone images, like single framesfrom our movie. Dalwood is seatedsplicing and cuing from the reel-to-reel of history. e collages hecreates are single image cells priorto their projection onto the bigscreen of painting.
e are behind thewheel, cruising thefreeway towards
ere is something disconcert
ingly familiar here. We get thetitle. ‘White Bronco’ (2001). We areO.J. Simpson mid-ight. Che themirror. A helicopter hovers. Newscorporations tra our escape.eir dramatic birds-eye view of the freeway is the one we reallyremember. Dalwood wiily pastesus front seat. We become complicitwith the scene of the crime. erear-view mirror reinforces thiswide-screen experience. e sunis seing behind us but ahead isonly blue sky. e drama is toldthrough multiple voices. As the el
ements of the collage snap togetherwe shi in time. Ahead, Los Ange
-les appears as a two dimensional
mirage. Behind, Ed Rusa’s iconicHollywood sign recedes. Are weeeing art history or do the objects
in the rear-view mirror appear
closer than they are?
his cut and paste episoderecalls early cinematog
raphy and montage. Herethe jump cut and freeze-frame fold into traditional ideas of collage. Visual impressions succeedone another. ey overlap in astring of shots. Time becomes sol
vent. Collage guarantees contem
poraneity. It is rooted in a modern
ist strategy for bringing the actualinto art. It ties art to the moment.In Dalwood’s hands it ties second
Dexter Dalwood Alun Rowlands
order material to fragments of history. Like the classic Hollywoodclié of falling calendar pages,spinning clos and newspaperheadlines, Dalwood forges a roll
ing dialogue between the past andthe present. is allows us to con
sider the glasnost of ‘Gorbaev’sWinter Retreat’ (2000) through thelenses of Cezanne and hard-edgedabstraction, in a visual perestroika.An apercu of the collaged imagereveals the haunted autonomy of the fragment. Spliced magazinepages are displaced to act as otherspaces. e parts retain a measureof their strangeness. But then thisis useful when articulating a worldthat is not exactly reassuring andbecoming stranger.
alwood’s promiscuousintermingling of signs
allows an adolescent
moment of freedomto imagine. ‘Neverland (Miael Jason’s Bedroom)’ (1999) is thePrince of Pop’s private domain.Fame and power coalesce in ba
roque camp. A so-toy innocenceis implied amidst the opulencewe associate with MTV’s ‘Cribs’.Domesticity is hot. Perhaps it is avalidation of the American dream.But beware. Our tabloid press hassensationally wrien the scriptfor this stage. Slumber parties and
Dexter Dalwood Alun Rowlands
sleepovers have dragged the pri
vacy of this haven into litigationand the public courts.
elebrity is a currentobsession. Fan bases areswelling. Images and per
sonas are projected intoour social consciousness. Empathyis laced with nefarious desire.Celebrity worship syndrome, ormad icon disease, is a recognisedpsyological condition. Mediafractures identity. e language of the fanzine is oen quasi-religious.It is all ritual and worship. econgregation communes in frontof their televisions. e secondcoming will be peak-time viewing.
eventy-seven acres of Texanfarmland dominated the24-hour news annels in1993. We wated from theperimeter as the Bran David
ian ran was held under siege.In ‘Mount Carmel, Waco’ (2000)Dalwood takes us inside. eserene interior eoes Matisse’sDominican apel in Vence. Autilitarian hardwood altar sits inits own fractured space. e cutedges of the printed componentsssure, suggesting an impendingimplosion. e ceiling fan warnsus that things are about to hot up.Outside this enclave the cloudsgather. Dalwood has replaced theranks of the ATF forces and lm
crews with a pastoral landscape
that evokes Andrew Wyeth. isshi in our frame of reference isa subtle one. Art history providesthe badrop. e armed forces aresubstituted by a representation of nature as a moral force. Wyeth’spioneering scenes identify with na
tionalism, transcendental populismand rehearsed seled values. esereferences bu-up against theassembled belief system depictedinside Mount Carmel.
avid Koresh, who
anged his name fromVernon Howell to en
hance his image as a leadguitarist, constructed his visionfrom a variety of Biblical sourcesthat he put into practice in Waco.Text. Interpretation. Context. escript was already wrien. eprecise context and interpretationwere variable. e vagaries of translation aptly reside within theseams of Dalwood’s collages.
magine Ulrike Meinhof seatedat her desk. Reading CheGuevara’s ‘Guerilla Warfare’.e hip Baader-Meinhof gangtranslated the guerrilla theoriesof Guevara and Marighella intotheir West German context. eyconverted a manual for warfare inone of the world’s poorest coun
tries into a manual warfare inone of the riest. A lot was lostin translation. In ‘Ulrike Mein
hof’s Bed-sit’ (2000) and ‘CheGuevara’s Mountain Hideaway’(1999) Dalwood reveals clandestinespaces fomenting revolutionaryzeal. A hessian bivouac is swilyassembled through jarring cut-up