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Steffani Jemison | Personal

March 21, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - May 21, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

YMCA NY Membership

BAM is pleased to present Personal, a single-channel video by Brooklyn-based artist Steffani Jemison. Originally created for the exhibition Crossing Brooklyn: Art from BushwickBed-Stuy, and beyond at the Brooklyn Museum in 2014-2015, the short video follows three black men as they slowly move forward, backward, and in circles through nondescript urban settings, the people around them largely unaware of their presence. A closer look reveals that Jemison has woven in reversed sections of the video, making it difficult to discern between moments of real-time backward movement and reversed footage. The overall effect disrupts the viewer’s linear sense of time and space. By heightening by other visual cues and imagery in the video related to race relations in America—an unfinished mural depicts Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela—Jemison effectively calls into question the presumed notion of racial progress.

Personal is further contextualized by other programs at BAM this season that examine inclusion and democracy and the theater as a gathering space. BAM’s social mission dates back to its earliest days, and has always provided a forum for the public to gather and reflect. The People Speak is based on the work of historian and activist Howard Zinn and directed by Anthony Arnove, and activist, feminist, and author Rebecca Solnit is joined by writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit and writer, art historian, and photographer Teju Cole Cole for the launch of her new book. In light of these programs and others, Jemison’s video offers viewers an opportunity to consider the concept of progress and what that means across issues of social and racial justice.


March 21, 2017 @ 1:00 pm
May 21, 2017 @ 7:30 pm
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