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Thompson Hall 2nd Floor, Elevator Shaft Stairs

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Steffani Jemison


Acrylic and dye-sublimation print on synthetic velvet
40 x 196 inches

THE OLD AND THE NEW (Site 4) and Same Time (Site 9) are part of a body of acrylic drawings that refer to the cryptic marks found in the notebooks of sculptor James Hampton. The strategy of invoking Hampton's language today is part of a larger project that seeks to consider how, through repetition, new ideas can be wrung out of under-used concepts like water from a cloth. How are strategies of disruption, withdrawal, secrecy, and code an important legacy of resistance to the free and easy movement of bodies and objects demanded by colonial slavery? Jemison explores how language functions simultaneously as a strategy of communication, expression, and exclusion. The drawings address the tension between the need to understand and the desire to remain incomprehensible in moments of resistance.

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