Mark Dean first looped appropriated film as an art student in the late 1970’s, and in the 1980’s extended this technique into music; these practices were eventually combined in the methodology for which Dean became recognised as a video & sound artist from the 1990’s onwards, in survey exhibitions including Black Box Recorder, Planet B, Video Vibe, and solo shows reviewed in journals including Artforum, Art Monthly, Frieze. Dean’s work has been commissioned by institutions including Barbican, ICA, Imperial War Museum, and is held in collections including Arts Council EnglandMudam Luxembourg, Saastamoinen Foundation, Finland. In 2009 Dean received a Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists.

Music has remained an integral part of Dean’s art practice, with looped and layered sound samples often providing the structural basis for video works, as opposed to being an overlay or backing track. This treatment of music as material is paralleled by a consistent use of film as objet trouvé; however, Dean’s use of appropriation differs, at least from some of the more reductive interpretations of such work, in that it is based not on a theory of the emptiness of images, but rather on a theology of kenosis, or self-emptying; a practice grounded in the lived experience of trauma.

Following teaching posts at the Ruskin School of Art and Goldsmiths College, in 2010 Dean was ordained in the Church of England, and since this time has continued to work as an artist and priest, serving as chaplain to University of the Arts London and coordinator of Arts Chaplaincy Projects, and developing live work, including liturgical events and collaborations with choreographer Lizzi Kew Ross.

In 2021 Dean began publishing video albums on chaplachap records; while referencing vinyl concept albums, they also recall a time when video artists conceptualised a future of dematerialised art, distributed outside of commodification systems. The technology to enable this eventually arrived, but along with it came both a shift in patterns of consumption and a convergence of media, such that ‘video art’ itself may no longer exist except as an art-historical phenomenon; yet here we are…

Video & sound is presented on this site to document art works exhibited elsewhere or published via chaplachap records. Further exhibition or publication is not permitted without express permission from the artist, or other rights holders. Art works owned as editions are documented as artist’s proofs, watermarked as above. Appropriated source material is acknowledged in accordance with copyright legislation.

 


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