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Steffani Jemison: Escaped Lunatic | MoMA

Steffani Jemison’s video Escaped Lunatic explores the image of running black bodies. Watch the work in full on our website.

The video borrows its narrative structure from early 20th-century cinema—the chase genre in particular—which often depicted African Americans in scenes of flight from various forms of authority. Shooting the work with a Houston-based parkour team when she was living in that city, Jemison links a structure borrowed from early cinema to a contemporary scene, boldly linking the unjust conditions of urban life for black folks across time.

[Steffani Jemison. Escaped Lunatic. 2010–11. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Steffani Jemison]

(via Steffani Jemison: Escaped Lunatic | MoMA)

In the wake of this week’s tragic violence in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas, associate curator Thomas J. Lax offers a meditation on the power of image making as a tool for political intervention, and shares three works from our collection by contemporary artists that respond to anti-black racism. Read Lax’s thoughts on works by Steffani Jemison, Kerry James Marshall, and Faith Ringgold.

[Steffani Jemison. Escaped Lunatic. 2010-11. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Steffani Jemison]