Danielle Dean
Born Alabama (US), 1982

Bazar, 2018, video still Bazar, 2018, video still Bazar, 2018, video still Bazar, 2018, video still

Danielle Dean employs an interdisciplinary practice in which she takes cultural objects as starting points for multi-layered artworks that analyse how subjects are formed in the post-colonial world. Specifically, she investigates the exaggerated power of consumer imagery. This entails the interpellation of thoughts, feelings, and social relations by power structures, which emphasizes how human life is generated through target-marketing practices and commodified subjectivities. Dean relates these mechanisms to the condition of post-humanism and the potential for perceiving the objects that surround us – not just as passive objects, but as active agents reciprocally shaping our experiences as humans.
As much as Dean is interested in marketing imagery and related processes of commodification, she’s committed to subverting such practices. In Dean’s most recent work, a young woman from the suburbs of Paris named Emile krumps next to a Nespresso machine, merging the expressive Californian street dance style with Dean’s investigation into advertising images. The surrounding sculptures function as a physical and conceptual frame for the film, and highlight RijksakademieOPEN itself as a mechanism of commercial display. The results are a far-reaching and humorous presentation that combines archival research with a range of personal experiences to interrogate how the circulation of commodities as images have shaped (Black) lives, both historically and currently.