Aria Dean “meta(models) or how i got my groove back”

Chapter NY

poster for Aria Dean “meta(models) or how i got my groove back”

This event has ended.

Chapter NY presents meta(models) or how i got my groove back, Aria Dean’s first exhibition with the gallery.

For this exhibition, the artist continues her inquiry into the ontological and phenomenological structures of blackness in Western culture. As the title of the exhibition suggests, it draws on the concept of a “metamodel”—a simplified model of an actual model of a system—to examine the situation of black existence in America through methods that transcend personal testimony and iconography.

The exhibition includes Dean’s most recent video, (meta)models: “I” is a crowd (demo) which references the visual language of hip-hop music videos. Dean considers the cinematic structure of such videos and its role in producing not only images of black subjects, but also a palpably black cinematic experience. She peels away the genre’s many iconographic and symbolic layers to map the structural relationships that fix the racialized subject. Dean’s video stars a pedestal made of two-way mirrored glass, also known as ‘security mirror’, like that found in interrogation rooms. This singular object offers an abstracted model that replaces and structurally approximates the crowd, which typically dominates such videos. Offscreen, three radio DJs discuss the object’s emergence as it appears in a number of locations. The script draws from text written by the artist as well as snippets from a range of critical writings that have influenced her work, including those by Peter Gidal, Martin Heidegger, Robert Morris, Fred Moten, and Paul Virillio. The DJs’ banter searches for the object’s origin and basic structure, obliquely circling the question of what makes something black.

The sculptures, positioned around the video monitor, are made of the same material as the onscreen (meta)model, but are flat, anthropomorphic shapes produced from gestural drawings. Some hang, almost dripping, from the walls, while others appear upright and splayed out with arms raised. Dean’s mirrored sculptures, combined with a dummy camera installed in a corner, watch and reflect the video alongside the audience and architecture of the gallery, creating an endless loop of non-return.

Aria Dean (b. 1993, Los Angeles) is an artist, writer and curator based in New York and Los Angeles. She currently holds the position of Assistant Curator of Net Art & Digital Culture at Rhizome. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo; Chateau Shatto, Los Angeles; The Sunroom, Richmond; Arcadia Missa, London; and American Medium, New York. Dean has exhibited work in exhibitions at the ICA Philadelphia, Higher Pictures, New York; Bodega, New York; De Young Museum, San Francisco; Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; Air de Paris, Paris; Knockdown Center, New York; AALA, Los Angeles; Foxy Production, New York; and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Her films have screened internationally at the 2019 International Film Festival Rotterdam and in 2018 at Ghost:2561 in Bangkok. Dean has presented talks and performances at Cranbrook Art Museum; Serpentine Galleries, London; the Swiss Institute, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; New Museum, New York; University of California, Los Angeles; The New School, New York; and Machine Project, Los Angeles. Her writing has been featured in Texte zur Kunst, Artforum, Art in America, The New Inquiry, Spike Art Magazine, Real Life Magazine, Topical Cream Magazine, Mousse Magazine, e-flux, CURA Magazine, Kaleidoscope, and X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly. In 2018, Dean completed an Artist Residency at the Hammer Museum. In Fall 2019, she will present her play Get-Together at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève.



from March 31, 2019 to May 05, 2019


Aria Dean

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