14 STATIONS OF THE CROSSROADS [PHOTOGRAPHS]
Embedded with rich enigmatic symbolism, the photographic tableau vivants in 14 Stations of the Crossroad reveal the full circle of a remarkable odyssey, which starts and ends with Dailey’s immersion in art. In between these two crossroads are the many other paths he explored in both government and business. Motivated by his experiences with censorship of creative expression behind the Iron Curtain in the 1970s, Dailey embarked on this intermediary career—what he considers a two-decade long performance piece—with a clear vision for his long-term artistic goals. The chronological 14 Stations tableaus covering this period provide a tantalizing behind-the-scenes peek into the secretive worlds of nuclear warfare, arms control, international security, and Cold War intrigue, challenging the viewer to unravel the mysteries behind his now “declassified” stories and imaginative practice. The knowledge and insights he gained from such diverse activities continue to fuel his unique creative endeavors today.
The sequence of staged self-portrait tableaus present a diachronic narrative and reflections on the artist’s life, exploring the defining crossroads he encountered, decisions made, and experiences assimilated. Implied in this sequence is that however calculated or seemingly arbitrary one’s reflections might appear, we are a product of the small steps we take, how decisions made at a particular crossroad affected us, and finally how they shape our aspirations. Explored here are the challenges one faces when posed with decisions leading to unknown consequences and when the easier path might be to retreat from the risks of change. But in the end, taking this unconventional path is about satisfying the desire for broader experiences and to engage life.