Steffani Jemison / Justin Hicks (US)



Performance / Visual arts / Music / Installation

A different kind of museum experience: US artists Steffani Jemison and Justin Hicks take a performance-based look at the Neue Galerie collection.


New – the herbst ticket blocks!




Sat 24/09 & Sun 25/09,
13.00 & 17.00

Neue Galerie Graz

12 €

Includes entrance fee Neue Galerie Graz


English language and German translation

Talk following the performance on Sun 25/05, 13.00


There’s buzzing, humming, singing, screaming and whispering at the Neue Galerie. On the walls, landscape paintings from Waldmüller to Thöny. Images of an age long gone that reveal much more than merely the masterful portrayal of landscapes. They manifest different attitudes towards the world. And in between, an unexpected procession of people making music, singing and talking.

In her exhibitions and performances, US artist Steffani Jemison considers how literacy and language are inflected by the legacies of slavery and colonialism. For steirischer herbst 2016 she joins forces with composer Justin Hicks to focus a critical eye on the current exhibition at Neue Galerie. By means of a wide range of different musical languages and quotations – from Béla Bartok to Louis Armstrong – they turn any space into a microcosm. But for Jemison and Hicks, a number of central questions lie concealed behind this apparent lightness: How does a museum organise its visitors, its objects and information? What do landscape and nature have to do with learning and knowledge? What do names have to do with nations? Reading with singing? Landscape with rhythm and blues? And to what extent are hierarchies of gender or hegemonic concepts of Europe in relation to the “other” ingrained in the pictorial worlds on view?

In their performances Steffani Jemison and Justin Hicks break with the conventions of the white cube, intervening in and questioning museum contexts with the aid of texts and music; most recently at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2015. At the invitation of steirischer herbst, they are bringing their first performance to Europe. After the premiere, their performance tour will be available as an audio guide.

With Starr Busby, Justin Hicks, Jonathan Hoard, Steffani Jemison

Commissioned by steirischer herbst
In collaboration with Neue Galerie Graz
With support by Park Avenue Armory and the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program

steirischer herbst
Production Birgit Pelzmann

Steffani Jemison (US)

Steffani Jemison, born in Berkeley/California in 1981, is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist. After studying Comparative Literature at Columbia University, she attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in 2009. Jemison presented her first works while still studying, operating in the sphere between visual, video and performance art. Her collaborative project “Alpha’s Bet Is Not Over Yet“ (2011) has been shown at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen, among other venues; she also features in the permanent public exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art (New York). Jemison is currently an artist in residence in the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program Brooklyn and teaches at Parsons The New School for Design.


Justin Hicks (US)

Justin Hicks is a US composer, sound designer and performer who worked as musical director together with Steffani Jemison on their “Promise Machine“ project presented at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2015. Hicks, whose works were performed at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (New York), among other places, is also involved in the “Geneva Project“ (2016) by Jennifer Harrison Newman and Charlotte Brathwaite and in 2010 was a member of the “6-8 Months Space“ project initiated by Kara Walker. He also published his debut album “Scratches From Mercy“ the same year.