Dinah's Place (two works)
Wall-hanging assemblage: Barbed wire, rope carpet, wood, clothing, wire, carpet, steel, grass fiber, tin, plastic, rope, doll, Splash Zone Compound, oil, enamel, and spray paint on wood
Here Dial pays tribute to Alabama artist Dinah Young. In her ephemeral, refuse-based memorials to dead animals and pets, Young reworks nature so abstractly and site-specifcally that her achievements cannot be incorporated into any official system of consumption or display. Supremely aesthetic, her undertakings are nevertheless in many ways antiart. Dial makes an antiartwork in her honor. His sprawling Dinah’s Place (consisting of a sculpture and wall-hanging assemblage), complete with head-rag-wrapped elegy of Young and her neighborhood helper, brings her site’s sweeping scope into a sculpture-and-painting pair of works whose sheer visual overload seems the only apt analogy for the disparity between her enterprise and the world of museums.
Each of these fellow artists is a living vessel of memory. Dial’s memorials to these artists may constitute his most finely calibrated maps of cultural memory: mapping the mapmakers. Dial treats his memories as if they were as real as people. Any memory lives within us as a composite of the impression-taking self (what one was at the time of the experience), the changed or newer self that one is at the time of the recollection, the other(s) subjected to implicit violence in the act of subjective perception, and one’s patterns of thought (often subconscious) about the event over the span of one’s life. The personal voice of memory becomes composite, just as the social voice of the artwork has become composite. —Paul Arnett