Brian Dailey

Lone Wolf

May 24, 2024 — May 26, 2024
Opening Wednesday 24. April 2024 18:00

A three day performance. A powerful commentary on the threat to tolerance and independent thinking.

“As an artist and a global citizen, I am deeply concerned about the current state of society, particularly regarding individuality and independent thinking. The rise of social media and its echo chambers have significantly contributed to increased tribalism and polarization, posing a threat to the diversity of thought and expression that is vital for a thriving society.“ - Brian Dailey

The core of "Lone Wolf" lies in the stark visual representation—an imprisoned wolf confined within a 400 x 1000 cm fence cage, positioned at the center of gallery space. A deliberate 45 cm walkway surrounds the cage on all sides, offering a narrow space for human observers to contemplate and scrutinize the lone creature. This carefully crafted spatial arrangement serves as an allegory for the struggle faced by individuals resisting the pull of conformity.

Originally conceived in 1978, at a time when individual thinking and creative expression faced challenges, the work gains renewed significance in the context of our technology-driven era. Today, "Lone Wolf" acquires an urgency that transcends its original conception, as instant means of technology act as relentless pressure for individuals to conform to tribal demands of groupthink.

The revisitation of this work in 2024 underscores its critical importance in a world where the expression of independent thought faces unprecedented scrutiny and coercion. "Lone Wolf" becomes a symbol of resistance against the erosion of individuality, challenging viewers to confront the impact of technological tools that amplify societal expectations and hinder diverse perspectives.

In an age where conformity is often enforced through digital means, Dailey's "Lone Wolf" is not just a performance; it is a rallying cry for the preservation of independent thinking. It prompts reflection on the societal cages that seek to confine diverse perspectives and emphasizes the timeless importance of creating spaces where individual creativity can flourish despite the relentless pressure to conform. This work, born in 1978, emerges as a beacon guiding us through the contemporary challenges of the digital age, asserting its critical relevance and importance even more fervently than its initial conception.

Brian Dailey (born August 12, 1951) is an American artist noted for his careers in both art and international relations. His work in a variety of mediums—including photography, film, installations, and painting—engages with the social, political, and cultural issues of our times and is not easily categorized. Dailey's art reflects his unconventional evolution as an artist and multifaceted life experiences, which include national-level involvement in arms control, space policy, intelligence systems, and international security. He is based in the Washington DC metropolitan area and maintains studios in the District and Woodstock, Virginia. Among his numerous showcases are eg.: Closely Watched, exhibited at Otis Art Institute,1975 and Performance in Viciousness, exhibited at the Roger Wong Gallery, 1976, also JIKAI, Midnight Moment, Times Square, NYC, February 2014, or To Look Is To Think, MOMA Tbilisi, June 2022.

From 1975 to 1979, Dailey's work represented a body focused on large performance and installation work utilizing animals or actors to express the political and social challenges of that time. An example could be Closely Watched, exhibited at Otis Art Institute, 1975, when his work explored the direction and implications of government surveillance at a time when individuals and political parties were being illegally monitored and personal activities exploited or files generated for later use.

Other works such as Performance in Viciousness and Vice address the question of trust and personal desire respectively. The viewer in these works is immersed into an environment where they are protected but also vulnerable to their fears through a structural confrontation within the work. In the former, Performance in Viciousness, exhibited at the Roger Wong Gallery, 1976, the viewer walked a gauntlet of two meters cages separated by only 45 cm. In each cage was a Doberman Pinscher trained to attack and if allowed, to kill.