Shot through

Tom Dale &

How do we react when a gun is fired? Even if it is only aimed at something that is supposedly lifeless? Tom Dale raises these questions in his work Shot Through. The video begins with a drum set standing in a forest. A shot is heard. And a second. Many others follow. The editing accelerates the destruction of the drums. Through the alternating shots, the viewer witnesses the various facets of the carnage – the explosion of the wood or the denting of metal – and the issue of materiality is shifted into focus. After the hail of bullets has ceased, closeups are shown of the drum, which has been shot to pieces. Comparisons to a gutted corpse are deliberate, and the drums transformed from a thing into animal-like creatures. The forest setting is reminiscent of a hunting scene, although it is alienated from the ethics of hunting and instead portrays the execution of the objects.

The rhythm and sound quality of the shots are also analogous to percussion. Rhythm is given to the visual destruction through the quick series of cuts. As a symbol for rock music, the drum set also brings to mind musicians who demolish their instruments on stage. Tom Dale plays with the double meaning of the word 'shot' – it also refers to a photograph or film recording, and at the same time equates the weapon with the camera. Is it responsible for this 'Shot Through'? (Lars Fleischmann)

About the video

Title Shot through
Year 2007
Videonale VIDEONALE.12
Length 00:02:56
Format 4:3
Country United Kingdom,
Language No dialog
Courtesy the artist and Aeroplastics/Jerome Jacobs, Brussels
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video

About the artist

Tom Dale
  • 1974 in Kendal, GBR.
    Studied at the Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, GBR, at the Goldsmiths College, London, GBR, and at the Sheffield Hallam University, South Yorkshire, GBR