Death Drive Alan Phelan

Silkscreen Courtesy of the Artist Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

The tyre track poster edition was made as part of a show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2009. The work relates to one of the themes of that exhibition; boy racers or modified car enthusiasts.

Notes on Death Drive by Alan Phelan; "[Young] men who are into cars is a global phenomenon, one that spans popular culture thru to fine art. This seemed like a useful metaphor for me as an interloper, someone interested in car culture for all the wrong reasons, and trying to blend in with the macho car guys. What I was interested in was the performity of the masculine, especially coming from the gay male perspective, as a gay man looking at men performing their manhood through an obsession with cars.

There are so many interesting language overlaps like cruising which in gay parlance is sex hunting while in car talk it is showing off, peacocking the car, possibly to attract girl adulation but really just to show off your pimping skills. It all gets back to sex so Freud is an obvious explainer. I wanted to cut the overt sexism out of it from whatever sexual preference. Furthermore when the performative car guy is a thrill seeker, jacking that hand-brake to burnout those tyres, impress with a rubber road impression, screech marks, skid marks it is rather onanistic anyway. Car semiotics are so rich. It is all rather pathetic and sad ultimately. Lots of small dick energy as they say nowadays.

- Alan Phelan, 2020

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