Dean Erdmann

Dean Erdmann is a 2018-2020 Vera List Center Fellow, whose fellowship project is developed in response to the Vera List Center's focus theme If Art Is Politics. They and Helene Kazan were selected from an international pool of over 220 applicants from 35 countries by an ad hoc fellowship committee of former fellows, New School faculty, and Vera List Center staff.

During their fellowship, and in collaboration with the New School community, Dean Erdmann will create a semi-autobiographical, environmental installation on the subject of American illiberalism. Weaving together film, sculpture, photography, and text, they will consider how our historical pasts have produced our current moment of social and political crisis. The fellowship project will draw global links between America, Germany, and Japan, as well as the comparatively cheap thrills of motorcycling and the high price of stimulant use, to tie together the working class and poor, legacies of war, and the subcultural thrill of speed.

Dean Erdmann's work addresses the politics of place, class, and the body. Erdmann uses still and moving images from found and original footage, and often creates or uses archives as source material. They manipulate footage into new forms, rearranging, destabilizing, and building anew its form. Through the intensity of the visual experience, which may entail meditative, hypnotic, or hallucinatory experiences, the viewer becomes acutely aware of their perceptive capacities and how those link to their bodies, feelings, and knowledges.

Erdmann completed their MFA at UCSD (2008). They received a CCI Completion Grant (2012) and the CCF Emerging Artist Fellowship (2013). Their work has been exhibited at ONE Archive (Los Angeles), 21stCentury Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; REDCAT (Los Angeles), Hammer Museum (Los Angeles) and the Images Festival in Toronto. Fabrication is nearly complete for the 400-foot LA Metro artwork commissioned for Leimert Park Station opening in 2019. Upcoming, their work is included in the MexiCali Biennial.