Danielle Dean borrows and subverts language and images from media, marketing, and other modes of capitalist cultural production to examine how they shape and reinforce colonial power structures and racist ideologies. Dean’s 'She' (2017) takes as its subject femininity (and feminism) both enabled and sold through digital platforms for distraction, DIY education, empowerment, and selfmarketing/ exploitation. Floating graphics by turns reveal and hide images and video clips: hair and wigs – and their particular place in relation to black womanhood – figure prominently, punctuating clips of natural disasters, laughing babies, and audio from anti-Trump protests. The cacophony of fragmentary quotations coaxes the viewer to synthesize meaning, although the only message ultimately is that of materialism and consumption. The accompanying sculptures co-opt the point of sale process – cardboard assemblages serving as disposable stand-ins for merchandise. Here, they advertise capital’s logic of space – absorbing landscape and distance into a nearly invisible system of marketing and distribution. Revolution and ruin are present simultaneously, clumsily collapsing subjectivities and markers/ makers of identity.
Danielle Dean (b. 1982) is an Alabama-born, London-raised artist. She received her BFA from Central Saint Martins and MFA from California Institute of the Arts. She has been a fellow of the Whitney Independent Study Program and a resident at Skowhegan, the Core Residency Program (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), and Rijksakademie (Amsterdam). Solo exhibitions include: Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Studio Museum, and Commonwealth and Council. Group exhibitions include: SFMOMA Open Space, Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneve, SculptureCenter (New York), Goethe- Institut Nigeria (Lagos), Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), and Tate Modern (London). Her new commissioned work will premiere in a forthcoming exhibition at Lafayette Anticipations-Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette (Paris) in June 2018.