In Steffani Jemison’s Personal, three black men— professional actors based in Brooklyn who responded to an ad Jemison placed—move improvisationally through various locations in Bed-Stuy. Shot against an unfinished mural, in a public park, and on a playing field, the actors walk forward, backward, and in slow circles, with the world around them largely unaffected by their movement.
Jemison moves between letting the footage play naturally and reversing it, making it unclear if the action is unfolding in real time or not. Techniques of repetition and reversal confuse time, space, and sequence. These strategies provoke viewers to consider the impact of inherited narratives and question notions of linear progress, particularly in relation to black Americans.
Digital video projection, color, sound, TRT, 6 minutes 45 seconds
Alfred T. White Fund
This item is not on view
Steffani Jemison (American, born 1981). Personal, 2014. Digital video projection, color, sound, TRT, 6 minutes 45 seconds
Brooklyn Museum, Alfred T. White Fund, 2015.8. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2015.8_view01_SC.jpg)
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