About the artist
Aria Dean (U.S., 1993) is a visual artist, curator and journalist from Los Angeles. Through both her analytical texts and her artworks, she investigates the structures that determine the meaning and perception of ‘blackness’. In the black community in the United States, ‘being collective’ goes beyond collective consciousness, she writes in her influential essay Poor Meme, Rich Meme. ‘Most – if not all – black Americans are familiar with the feeling. It is your parents telling you to behave in public, not just for the sake of the family’s image but implicitly because you represent the whole race.’
About the artwork
The soundless film But as One Doesn’t Know … shows a compilation of American hip-hop music videos with a specific focus on the dancing masses of people, a widely used motif in hip-hop videos. While on the one hand this type of group dynamics can represent a form of brotherhood and support, it also has a different effect: according to Dean, the individual actions of African-American’s are always perceived through the lens of the stigma associated with the group.
Statement Edson Sabajo & Guillaume Schmidt
Edson: ‘It’s not only rappers in those videos, but also an uncle, a cousin and a brother. Everyone’s part of that community. It’s not about the individual; with a team you can take things to the next level. That’s super inspiring.’
Guillaume: ‘It’s an image that’s often stigmatised, but for us it’s really something very positive.’