Fall 2012

Artist Project / Dead Space

Tom Dale

As a rule, advertising likes to escape the grip of reality at every turn. So it seems incongruous that clocks appear in the background of so many ads. Intriguingly, this time is consistently 10:10 AM or PM, proposing the abstract concept of a standard or “good” time when all that is desired might be attained. What at first glance appeared to be a common denominator of publicity in glossy English lifestyle magazines and business periodicals soon revealed itself to be the mean time of international advertising as well.

It has been suggested that the root of this trope lies in its formal similarity to a comforting smile, the welcoming face of the future that acknowledges us, and all that we desire. However, as my collection of ads accumulated, their growing complexity revealed not an image of the future, but rather one of an endless present illuminated only by the flicker of difference without change.

Tom Dale is a London-based artist. He is currently completing his PhD at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Venues for recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions include CAN, Neuchâtel, France (2012); Poppy Sebire, London (2013); Artworks MK, Milton Keynes, UK (2013); and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK (2014).

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