Link to Silent Disco https://youtu.be/fpAptWgb9KY
Dowd Gallery, Cortland, NY. Jan – Feb 2018
Silent Discos is a series of works that reflects onto the world the metaphor of the empty dance floor. The artist Tom Hall has presented objects that he connects to culturally, but with ideals that disappoint him under scrutiny. They are a collection of iconic objects remembered from childhood but with political reproductions now, tiled with mirrors to become peculiar disco balls that, in the artist’s eyes, hold a floored symbolic position in resent history. They are about the presentation of power and status and its failure. They represent an escapist ideal, which can never deliver.
Icon Of War is a depiction of a ground to air missile. These have culturally become an embodiment of low-level insurgents around the world. Totemic mounted on the back of a Toyota pickup in the desert of Afghanistan to the top of prominent landmarks around London during the Olympic games they are instantly recognizable silhouettes against the contemporary news skyline. Much like internet videos adoring statistics of military projectiles, describing their awesome firepower Tom Hall has elevated this weapon to ‘high art’ giving it an honored cultural status. We are asked to worship it and the dance floors illuminated alter.
Along side it is a pair of wings, It Could Be Paradise, But It’s Only California (part two) is a title taken from a quote from Theodor Adorno. The angel wings are at once a shining and inspiring emblem of the American dream and the city of angels, countered by the sad escapist world of silent music playing in your head and the empty dance floor. Adorno was a member of the Frankfurt School and critique of what he saw as the American myth propagated by the culture of Hollywood. The never-ending silent spin of lights never quit live up to the expectations of the party they promote.