Dean will show Portrait of True Red, a video co-commissioned by Open Source. The work stages a narrative of how a fictional character, Sam Jones, merges with the sneakers, Dunk Low Pro SB (True Red, Vampire) released by Nike in 2003. Her story is told through a monologue, which is compiled from historical accounts of political violence such as slave revolts in 1700, police brutality (for example towards Black Panther member Assata Shakur), and violence against the workers in China who make Nike sneakers. Within the script are fragments of Nike’s marketing strategies, including advertising copy, bodily gestures from people featured in Nike commercials, and online reviews of Nike products. The video uses shadows to show the bodily gestures and to reference the vampire film genre.
Dean’s work is about the colonialism of mind and body—the interpellation of thoughts, feelings and social relations by power structures working through news, advertising, political speech, and digital media. I focus on processes of constructing and commodifying raced, gendered, aged and classed subjectivities through target-marketing practices. I am specifically interested in subverting such processes to both understand and shift them toward a non-essentialized space of being, blurring fiction, reality, subject and object.
Danielle Dean is an Alabama-born, London-raised visual artist currently based in Houston, TX. Her recent solo exhibitions include Focus at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY and Hexafluorosilicic at L.A.’s Commonwealth and Council. Select group exhibitions include What Shall We Do Next at Houston’s Diverse Works in Houston; Effeminaires, Western Exhibitions, Chicago; and Made in L.A. 2014 at L.A.’s The Hammer Museum. Recent screenings include, Moma PS1 in New York, Frye Art Museum in Seattle and Vox Populi in Philadelphia. Dean’s residencies include Houston’s Core Program, The Whitney’s Independent Study Program, Skowhegan School of Art and recently The Drawing Center open sessions in New York. Dean is a Rema Hort Mann Foundation and Creative Capital awardee, and received her M.F.A from California Institute of the Arts and B.F.A from Central St Martins.
Curated by Helen Nisbet