Justin Hicks + Steffani Jemison
Musician Justin Hicks and visual artist Steffani Jemison (NYC) will collaborate on Mikrokosmos: One Giant Step, an experimental opera that uses the melody of Nina Simone’s "To Be Young, Gifted and Black” as a constraining and liberating force. Simultaneously a work of research and performance, soloists, small ensembles, and a community chorus engage in a series of tutorials, exercises, and musical tasks that lead them, dramatically, to a place of knowing and understanding in real time.
Justin Hicks is a multidisciplinary artist and performer using music and sound to investigate identity and value. As a composer and performer, Hicks’ work has been featured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Performance Space New York, The Public Theater, JACK, Dixon Place, The Bushwick Starr,
The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Highline, the ICA Philadelphia, and The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, among many others. Hicks has collaborated with notable visual artists, musicians, and theater makers including Abigail DeVille, Kaneza Schaal, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Cauleen Smith, Helga Davis, and Charlotte Brathwaite. In 2018, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his work as the composer of Mlima’s Tale by Lynn Nottage, presented at The Public Theater, and directed by Jo Bonney. Hicks lives and works in the Bronx, New York.
Steffani Jemison uses time-based, photographic, and discursive platforms to examine "progress" and its alternatives. Recent solo exhibitions and commissioned performances include De Appel, Stedelijk Museum, Kai Matsumiya, MASS MoCA, Jeu de Paume, CAPC Bordeaux, and Nottingham Contemporary.
Recent group exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial 2019; Black Refractions, the touring permanent collection exhibition of the Studio Museum in Harlem; and exhibitions at the MCA Chicago, the ICA Philadelphia, and others. In 2015, she presented her multi-part commission, Promise Machine, at the Museum of Modern Art. Her work is in several public collections, including the Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Studio Museum in Harlem. Jemison was a 2018 Radcliffe Fellow, a 2018 NYFA Fellow, a 2015 Tiffany Foundation Grantee, and a 2014 Art Matters Grantee. Jemison lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.