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Race, Wealth, and Labor Through Photography


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Artist Danielle Dean’s work questions power, perception, race, and gender in spaces tied to neoliberal economies. Her project "Pleasure to Burn" creates new ways of picturing intersections between labor and identity. Join us for a conversation with Dean and Rhea Combs, curator of film and photography at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

This is a free event, but please register in advance. ICP Members have access to preferred seating in our reserved members’ section.

Our ICP Museum–public program combination ticket grants $10 entry starting at 4:30 PM to those attending the program. Tickets are only available online when you register for the program.

Rhea L. Combs is curator of photography and film at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. She also serves as the head of the museum’s Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA). Prior to joining the museum, Combs taught visual culture, film, race, and gender courses at Chicago State University, Lewis & Clark College, and Emory University. Additionally, Combs has independently and successfully curated national and international film exhibitions for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, the National Black Programming Consortium, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, among others. She also worked as the assistant curator for the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta and as a pubic programs educator at the Chicago Historical Society (now the Chicago Historical Museum).

Combs received her bachelor of arts degree from Howard University, a master of arts degree from Cornell University, and a doctorate from Emory University. Her writings have been featured in anthologies, academic journals, and exhibition catalogues on a range of topics, including African American female filmmakers, black popular culture, visual aesthetics, filmmaking, and photography.

Danielle Dean is an artist whose work draws from her multi-national background of being English, American, and Nigerian. Her practice explores the colonialism of mind and body—the interpellation of the subject by power structures working through digital media, news, and advertising. Recent solo exhibitions include "a shoe, a phone, a castle" (2017) and "Hexafluorosilicic" (2015) at Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles, and "Focus" (2016) at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Group exhibitions include Shifters, Art in General, New York City (2016); "It Can Howl," Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta (2016); "What Shall We Do Next," Diverse Works, Houston (2016), and "Made in LA," Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014). Dean has participated in residencies at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York and the Core Program in Houston, and she has been awarded grants from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and Creative Capital. She received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and BFA from Central Saint Martins, London.

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