Maniac Chase

Steffani Jemison ( b. 1981) Maniac Chase, 2008-2009 Digital video Endless loop The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee 2013.13.1

Steffani Jemison’s video work disrupts traditional notions of time and narrative to create an ambivalent comment on social mobility within African-American communities. Inspired by the early cinematic genre of chase films, Jemison adopts strategies of repetition and unclear storylines in Maniac Chase. These elements, combined with the use of black bodies and a deserted setting, seem to argue against the widespread belief that life for African Americans is constantly improving. Instead, Jemison conveys the runners’ endless physical and psychological labor as ultimately unchanging over time. 

Artist in Residence 2012–13