January 12 - February 23, 2013
Curated by Amanda Hunt
Tonight I ask you to assume that an external world exists. An external world that exists independently of us. The second assumption I would like for you to make is that things are in a constant state of change, transformation, or flux. With agreement on these two assumptions we can go on with our discussion.
—Huey P. Newton, Speech at Boston College, November 18, 1970
Steffani Jemison’s Same Time consists of a looped sound piece and a set of abstract prints. The exhibition title refers to the artist’s reprisal of a speech delivered in 1970 by Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton that has been reinterpreted by Brooklyn-based R&B group Sidetrack Boyz as a vocal improvisation. By relaying Newton’s words through popular music tropes, the performers reactivate his call for the transformation of American society through direct action and strategic rebellion. The two-channel sound installation is accompanied by a series of images, both of which extend Jemison’s interest in the general condition of transparency and the rhetorical possibilities revealed in repetition.
Building on a practice that places African American history and culture at the intersection of conceptual art, Jemison’s exhibition considers how inherited visual strategies both limit and expand our access to history more broadly.