EXCERPT: "Dawn Dedeaux is perhaps the most striking of those artists who combine the ontological concerns of multi-media and video art with a political/social message. The scope of her work is so large and her imagination so fertile that she refuses to be limited by any formal boundaries. Furthermore, she refuses to be constricted by theory or by any kind of critical or social or sexual structures that might limit what she is doing. Her work is neither programmatic nor proscriptive. It exists as both a reality, physical and virtual, in itself and as a prescription for treating the malaise of the art world and as a tonic for the despairing."    READ MORE


Between Apocalypses  ​​

By Penelope Green

 Dawn DeDeaux has been thinking a lot about the apocalypse, and she’d like to get you in the mood, too.  “MotherShip,” her installation for Prospect.3, proposes an exit strategy from planet Earth. Set in an abandoned, roofless warehouse with trees growing through it… READ MORE.


EXCERPT / "The moment the sky turns dark is transformative. In the Brulatour Courtyard, it’s the time when Dawn DeDeaux’s perverted portrait of Ignatius Reilly comes to life, converting the romanticism of the historic courtyard into the dark imaginings of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces... DeDeaux, known for her pioneering use of digital media, further tricks out the experience, manipulating projections and reflections to give the illusion of a hypnotizing Fortuna performing at the foot of Reilly’s bed, taunting onlookers. Her voyeuristic investigation into the fetishism and confusion of Toole’s novel utilizes seemingly every space in the courtyard to provide a one-of-a-kind sensory experience, extracting viewers’ own latent sexuality and fear, and heightening them to haunting effect."  READ MORE

Dawn DeDeaux Pelican Bomb Review Goddess Fortuna

A Survey of Representation of Prisoners In the United States
      BY JAMES HUGUNIN  /  Book Publisher U-TURN PRESS

"Dawn DeDeaux's video tapes, books and installation also take up the plight of youthful offenders, but she extends her outreach back into the very communities that are suffering from gang-warfare, as well as asking White America to take a hard look at the racism, and economic/class inequalities in which this urban violence is largely rooted (her interventions take on an even sharper edge when you recall she is working within the context of a state that voted heavily in favor of David Duke {and during his campaign}). Her projects are not only focused on empowering those behind the bars, of giving them a voice and identity...but also entails using the carceral experiences of these young men - narratives embodied in a variety of media - to wake up their peer communities outside prison to the self-genocide they are currently engaged in...

"The installation - by undermining through allegory the semantic stability of the supposed archetypes of house and warrior - becomes a 'shrine for the homeless warriors of the inner city urban streets.' ...
"DeDeaux addresses the destructive 'situated practices' of gang-banging (a mythos DeDeaux points out in her work that is not only re-enforced by peer values, but pushed by media images of super-warriors like John Wayne and Rambo) and then collaborates with ex-gang members to suggest, instead, politically empowering 'situated practices.'  Forbearance becomes the foreplay to forward-looking political intervention...

"DeDeaux shares 'hope' with the inmates by means of caring about them. Care ('sorge'), in Heidegger's specific use of that term, has been defined by Otto Poggeler as 'anticipatory resoluteness" - a phrase that could equally describe the 'strange attractor' Paul Ricoeur sees at work in narrative....
"Thus DeDeaux's 'talking cure' is not simply the traditional evocation of guilt, insight, and remorse leading to 'rehabilitation' in the bourgeois sense. Her works promotes, to a degree, recognition of the 'de-centered' self, the mobile subject, which is present and yet uncannily absent - fixed and yet eroded. ..

"For DeDeaux, judgments have to be made within the context of discursive situations, making a fixed position based on either term of any simple dichotomy quite problematic. The pleasure of difference (us/them, etc.) is largely undermined by DeDeaux's strategies. She gives little safe haven for installation viewers to retell themselves the stereotypical narrative of the 'Other.' It is this resistance to hypostasis - involving a conception of meaning generated by words that the speakers/writers take and give back to the community such that a voice can mean, but only with others (at times in a chorus, at times in dialogue) in a perpetual struggle between the extremes of canonization and heteroglossia that links DeDeaux's installation to Judith Hopkins' Ventura School Project, to Camhi's The Prison Experience, and Finley's more radical anti-narrative Nomads at the 25 Door...
“The complex intertextuality of DeDeaux's inter-media presentation - its appeal to many senses at once, its multi-layered narratives and allegorical slippage into multiplicity of meaning - was further enhanced by the community events that accompanied her exhibition. It is this multi-leveled, many pronged strategy that makes DeDeaux's efforts a particularly effective model for future artistic interventions into the carceral regime."
James Hugunin is an Art Historian at the Chicago Art Institute.


HUFFPOST Goddess Fortuna Prospect.2

Goddess Fortuna Installation Rendering by Dawn DeDeaux

Dawn DeDeaux: Art Between the Apocalypses, New York Times feature by Penelope Green

Image: CB Radio Booth Installation by Dawn DeDeaux, 1976


By Lauren Scarpello 
EXCERPT:  If  there is one touchstone of DeDeaux’s varied practice—a way of potentially determining the efficacy of her work even today—it is participation, a concern that can be traced to her earliest works. In 1975, DeDeaux conceived the project CB Radio Booths as an intersection of her interests in mass communication and her desire to break down self-imposed barriers of prejudice. At the forefront of engaging audiences outside the constructs of the art establishment, the result was nine functioning stainless steel radio booths stationed across southern Louisiana. Anyone could pick up the receiver and start talking—and folks did. The Federal Communications Commission granted DeDeaux a special channel and, with headquarters located at the top of One Shell Square, a purely egalitarian means of communication was born—the original “chat room.” 

At the time she was creating her CB Radio Booths the art world was still reeling from Fluxus and its subsequent movements. DeDeaux was walking amongst giants such as Nam June Paik, who also prophesied the era of mass communication and the far-reaching influence of information technologies. Theorists questioned the idea of originality and warned of the dissolution of reality...

DeDeaux continued to act as a selector in this brave new world, taking moments from life, stripping them down to their basic elements, and forcing us, the viewers, to pay attention to what we normally would not…"  READ MORE

StillFrame / Drive By Shooting Video by Dawn DeDeaux

STEPS HOME by Dawn DeDeaux at Ballroom Marfa
NOAR DeDeaux New Orleans Museum of Art

ARTILLERY MAGAZINE \ Prospect .2 Review  by Clayton Campbell

"...DeDeaux’s zany, smart and wildly imaginative installation goes far beyond illustration to become an atmosphere that is indeed inhabited by the Goddess Fortuna.
The night I attended, I was alone in the installation and began to feel the spirits move. In this stupendous work of art, all that Prospect.2 could be—a national creative moment, a celebration of New Orleans, a cry for the irrational to inhabit the arts once again—was crystallized" READ MORE

Dawn DeDeaux's MotherShip feature, American Theatre Magazine
The Goddess Fortuna Installtions
LA WEEKLY / ART PICK OF THE WEEK Dawn DeDeaux's Soul Shadows by Art Critic Peter Frank

During the preview for Open Spaces 2018: A Kansas City Arts Experience on a rainy Thursday, curator Dan Cameron walked a group of journalists and donors through Swope Park. One of the largest urban greeneries in the country and a multifunctional site for recreational and cultural activities, the Midwestern landmark is a historical racial divider, a de facto “color line,” according to Cameron. “Dealing with the political, cultural and economic history of a place like Kansas City, while creating a framework for developing a project like Open Spaces, sometimes resembles investigative journalism, or even detective work,” explained the curator.
Swoope Park hosts the largest portion of the biennial works, including Jacob Burmood’s Draped Form, a cast aluminum sculpture of a draped specter that sits at the park’s entrance and Tree, Broken Tree, a reclaimed dead tree that artist Dylan Mortimer showered with pink paint and glitter to embody revitalization and survival. Also in the park is Dawn DeDeaux’s Free Fall: Prophecy and Free Will in Milton’s Paradise Lost—48 towering columns installed amongst walnut trees, each printed with reflective tape reading a verse from Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” It’s recommended to visit the work after sunset, when the reflective text better appears in dark—consider the evening of October 13 when Janelle Monáe will perform at the nearby historic Starlight Theater as part of the biennial’s concert series. The challenge to read Milton’s centuries-old, yet utterly relevant text about imperfections of human evolution in daylight emphasizes DeDeaux’s statement on our collective numbness and helplessness in the face of social decay. The piece is also an homage to Milton, who was blind when he penned his epic poem.

PAJ Associate Editor Larry Qualls assesses the video works of artist Dawn DeDeaux
Goddess Fortuna Prospect 2 Dawn DeDeaux

EXCERPT: " DeDeaux’s Water Markers are, at core, a patent departure from the orthodoxies of old-line minimalism, most notably its firm literalness. Her topic here is the life-world, and human exigency in the life-world — and, specifically, the appalling consequences of the post-storm floods of 2005.

She reflects upon this with a poised and all but diffident body of works. No heated sentiment. No lamentation. Instead, you detect a muted yet sustained intensity, a rapt gaze upon nature in the larger sense. And her final rendering is something bordering on the exquisite, something treasurable. The sheer elegance of the sculptures is almost startling."    

The World According to New Orleans / Ballroom Marfa            


Dawn DeDeaux house post-Lunch. Photo by Sara Costello

NEW YORK TIMES / Review: 10 YEARS GONE  by Cameron Shaw

Ms. DeDeaux’s “Water Markers,” acrylic planks reflecting post-breach flood levels, are scattered throughout the museum’s permanent collection, to toss their tall, rippling shadows on walls and floors. They are the only works in Mr. Lord’s show to make direct visual reference to the floodwaters that cost the city thousands of lives and even more livelihoods...​   READ MORE

TEN YEARS GONE / New Orleans Museum of Art  by Terrington Calas

AFTERIMAGE: Glocal History / Prospect 2 New Orleans

by Kathryn Kramer

"The local narrative undercurrent that marked Prospect.2 was well served by the nature of its time-based media. New Orleanian Dawn DeDeaux’s multimedia installation “Goddess Fortuna and Her Dunces in an Effort to Make Sense of It All” (2011) filled the Brulatour Courtyard in the French Quarter. Upon entering the courtyard, the visitor immediately became a participant in a strange Confederate imaginary of 1960s New Orleans – part Inquisitorial persecution; part Klan ritualism; part Carnivale’ and part masturbatory fantasy of Ignatius J. Reilly, the protagonist of John Kennedy Toole’s New Orleans novel A Confederacy of Dunces (2011 is the thirtieth anniversary of the novel’s Pulitzer Prize). The installation’s particular focus was on Reilly’s obsession with the wrongs done to him by the Goddess Fortuna, who was projected in video loops throughout, most notable as an orbed specter (a manipulated window reflection) hovering above Reilly’s bed in the middle of the courtyard. Fortuna is played by a New Orleans sissy-bounce artist rotating to hypnotic bounce music in Rococo finery, twirling batons, gyrating buttocks, and otherwise spinning the wheel of fate. “Where it lands,” stated a wall text, “a hurricane, an oil spill or a tsunami – nobody knows for sure?” This fatalistic statement was the only reference to recent events, but “Goddess Fortuna” provided a prehistory that addressed the narrative need for both New Orleans natives and non- natives alike to gain insight into how things/people/places were before. No description of DeDeaux’s piece can do it justice: it requires presence and all of the senses."  READ MORE​​

James Hugunin focuses on Dawn DeDeaux's work in his closing chapter of his book 'Discipline and Photograph'

VOGUE Top TEN Summer Shows by Dodie Kazanjian



EXCERPT: “The will focus on Toole’s inspirations for the book: the medieval Philosopher Boethius and the Goddess Fortuna, a gal frequently summoned throughout the pages of Dunces as the counsel to Ignatius,” explains DeDeaux.
​“Project Fortuna’s scope is considerable and began for me decades ago in the home of Toole’s mother, Thelma Toole, prior to the book’s publication,” DeDeaux says. “Then in 1991 I served as production designer for the first ever stage adaptation of Confederacy for which I produced dozens of drawings and character studies; these, and the deep appreciation I acquired for both Boethius and Toole, provide the foundation for this installation.”
​“Another deciding factor to produce this particular interpretation of the work is our world’s current relationship to nature and fate in a turbulent time of hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and oil spills (not to mention terrorist attacks),” DeDeaux adds. “In this regard, the work has a very serious side in its embrace of disasters and resurrections. There is also something about wanting to know our future that strikes humbly into the heart of ‘humanness.’”
Striking into the heart of humanness, The Goddess Fortuna project is an absolute feast of the senses for Prospect 2 attendees, and fans of all things Ignatius.

Arts and Leisure Section Cover / Water Marker by Dawn DeDeaux



Goddess Fortuna Installation / Dawn DeDeaux / Photo by Michael Smith

Dead Deer on a Highway Video Cube and Stillframe by Dawn DeDeaux The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art

Steps Home by Dawn DeDeaux / Ballroom Marfa Installations.  Photo by Fredrik Nilsen


 Lunch with Dawn DeDeaux / Photo by Sara Ruffin Costello

​​AMERICAN THEATRE 14 Theatrical Plans to Change the World​​

By Mark Blankership

​​Dawn DeDeaux's MotherShip Prepares for Planetary Evacuation.READ MORE

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art has grown to become a contemporary art juggernaut / 
by Ariella Budick

EXCERPT:Mass MoCA has no permanent collection but the art in its short- and long-term loans covers an astonishing range of materials and technology, from pure white light to 20-ton stones, from scraps of rusted metal to high-tech creations. The brilliant Louisiana artist Dawn DeDeaux pays homage to Rauschenberg, and to our frail and damaged planet, by assembling charred wood and evocative bric-a-brac (“an alligator-skin book of Longfellow poems”, a “tape measure stuck on 1”). And even as she forages for relics of our time on Earth, she imagines the fashions of space travel in intricate, wall-sized digital drawings."


ARTFORUM / Landscape Reclaimed 
Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art
EXCERPT/ “Landscape Reclaimed,” a consistently smart show comprising the responses of conceptual artists to “landscape” and curated by Harry Philbrick, took full advantage of its site: a museum surrounded by aging, under-appreciated Minimalist sculpture and sweeping suburban lawns – in short a site just waiting for Komar & Melamid to stage a local version of their America’s Most Wanted, 1994. Of the artists represented, it was the Soviet-born duo that engaged the community most directly with their sublimely ironic tribute to participatory democracy.

Other artists also stretched the concept of landscape while respecting the parameters of the picture plane. David Diao’s beautifully glib Plots Available depicted a site plan of Green River Cemetery, Long Island’s version of Pere Lachaise which houses the remains of nearly every New York School painter. Beverly Semmes reached back even further into art history with Figure in the Purple Velvet Bathrobe and Cloud Hat on the Beach.

Generally, the more successful contributions to “Landscape Reclaimed” found ways to rethink the genre, while the less interesting pieces desperately inscribed themselves in it. Among the former, I would include Gregory Greene and Nancy Dwyer. By contrast works by Mira Schor, Veronica Ryan, or Nam June Paik’s video sculpture 9 Up Bush were less inspired.

A standout installation by Dawn DeDeaux quietly suggest these artists needn’t have tried so hard to reclaim landscape. Her Postcards to Teddy Roosevelt while Thinking of Yves Klein included two television monitors resting face-up, muffled by translucent wax paper – one showing a deer carcass alongside a local highway, the other sheep grazing near an electrical fence – so that suddenly the sounds of buzzing flies, passing traffic, cowbells, and snapping power lines seemed haunting. Six photo-collages lined the gallery walls depicting repetitive industrial scapes of satellite dishes and chain-linked fences through which viewers could only catch glimpses of brutally strip-mined or otherwise neglected land forms. Their formal beauty as pictures, as landscapes, only added to the installation’s visceral effect. Who would ever suspect that working through, as opposed to reworking, the traditional genre of landscape would have produced the show’s most powerful – and nuanced – work?



EXCERPT:   “New Orleans based-artist Dawn DeDeaux suggest that the expected source of the ‘trouble’ is itself troubled, yet manifests its own tragic nobility. The focus of her darkly dramatic Soul Shadows: Urban Warrior Myths is the young African-American male. She populates the corridors of her catacomb-like - or jail-like - installa- tion with gilded, over life-size photographs of black youths, former or current gang-bangers and/or prisoners who here assume the styl- ized attitudes of ancient deities and modern ‘stars’. Ensconced in certain cul-de-sacs are other beautiful and menacing icons of the vio- lent life these doomed adolescents have led; and, behind false cell doors, various videos document that life. The media-intensive, ‘Sensurround’ Installation bombards the visitor with Impression and Information, all designed to de-heroicize urban warfare, including the prison lire visited (often unjustly) on survivors, and to re-validate the warriors/victims. DeDeaux's anti-funhouse Soul Shadows may be heavy going, but it is not blame-slinging “PC” agitprop: It conveys not anger, but empathy, engagement and hope.”