Steffani Jemison: Untitled Support Study (In Succession 2019)

Steffani Jemison: Untitled Support Study (In Succession 2019)

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 Steffani Jemison
Untitled Support Study (In Succession 2019), 2020
Digital print
24 x 18 inches
Edition of 50
 
Steffani Jemison works with video, sound, performance, drawing, and sculpture to challenge established histories, knowledge hierarchies, and socio-political values focusing on Black vernacular culture. Employing tools borrowed from conceptual art, cinema, fiction writing, and improvisation, she uses personal narratives and historical archives to reframe the past and examine alternative ideologies of so-called “progress.” Untitled Support Study (In Succession 2019) relates to a series of videos by the artist that reference historical episodes from the early 20th century wherein athletic black figures were characterized as super-human after alleged attempts to escape, rescue, or steal. Jemison seeks to complicate this reading by capturing present-day imagery of disciplined movement practices that combine parkour, contact improvement, and acrobatics to foreground themes of agility, balance, exteriority, and resilience.
 
Jemison was born in 1981 in Berkeley, CA and was raised in Cincinnati, OH. She received a BA from Columbia University (2003) and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009). Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions and special projects at LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2013); RISD Museum, Providence, RI (2015); Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA; Jeu de Paume, Paris, France (both 2017); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2019); and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2021). She has been included in numerous group exhibitions such as Fore, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2012); Name it by Trying to Name it, The Drawing Center, New York, NY (2015); Speech Acts, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA; Direct Message, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL; The Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (all 2019); Wild Frictions, The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2021); Our whole, unruly selves, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA (2021); and A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS (2022). Jemison currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

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