"My practice centers around conceptual arts 'unfinished business,' and focuses particularly on issues that arise when conceptual practices are inflected by black history and vernacular culture. I create work that directly responds to classic and contemporary literature, experiments in early cinema, and our present art historical moment, often working closely with nonprofessional performers to make video installations, photographs, drawings, prints, slide projector installations, musical scores, and a nonfiction novella."
Steffani Jemison was born in Berkeley, California, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and a BA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University (2003). Jemison uses time-based, photographic, and discursive platforms to examine "progress" and its alternatives. Jemison's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Brooklyn Museum; the Drawing Center; LAXART; the New Museum; the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Laurel Gitlen; Team Gallery; and other venues. Her publishing project, Future Plan and Program, commissions literary work by artists of color and has published books by Martine Syms, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, and Harold Mendez, among others. She has participated in artist residencies at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, Brooklyn; Project Row Houses, Houston; the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Jemison has served as a visiting critic in the graduate art programs at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Illinois-Chicago. She was a 2013 Tiffany Foundation Biennial Awardee and a 2014 Art Matters Grantee. In 2015, Jemison will present her new multipart commission Promise Machine in conjunction with the MoMA exhibition "One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North."
Jemison is currently an artist-in-residence at Smack Mellon. She teaches at the Cooper Union and Parsons The New School for Design.