Executed in 2011, Michael Dean’s Out (Working Title) belongs to a series of photographs and sculptures that explore the materiality of the written word. It depicts a piece of marbled meat moulded into a totemic form, and folded at various intervals to spell out its title
in Dean’s signature angular typeface. Re-photographed against an MDF backdrop, it represents a conceptual extension of his four-piece sculpture Cope (Working Title), which spells out its title in triangulated concrete. The photographs set the viewer at a further level of remove: fattened into two dimensions, the sculpture’s three-dimensional inscription remains partially concealed from view. Throughout his multi-media practice, which encompasses poetry and short plays alongside photography and sculpture, Dean is fascinated by the interplay between different communicative channels: speaking, writing, picturing, hearing and interpreting. Through his unique form of cryptography, he imbues seemingly mute objects with his own private language, which he invites the viewer to decode. Dean graduated from Goldsmiths College in 2001, and his work has been shown at institutions including the Serpentine Gallery, London; the Hayward Gallery, London, and the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.