NO GUTS, NO GALAXY is a weekly series of artist-curated slideshows that expand upon the diverse subjects addressed in RAMMΣLLZΣΣ: Racing for Thunder, such as, the Downtown scene, early hip-hop and performance, Afrofuturism and cosmology, the mythology of Gothic Futurism, and the coercive power of language.
In 2010, artists Steffani Jemison and Jamal Cyrus organized “Book Club,” a literary workshop inspired by W.E.B. DuBois’s “The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races to Ebony” at Project Row Houses in Houston. The focus of the think-tank explored African-American aesthetics and literary theory. A year later, the duo continued their investigation into the power of language and knowledge distribution, and organized “Alpha’s Bet Is Not Over Yet,” a traveling, collaborative exhibition program constructed as a reading room and discussion space. It featured a newsstand of reproduced independent Black periodicals issued between 1902-1940.
The project was inspired by the title of Rammellzee’s film script from 2000, entitled “Alpha’s Bet”, in which Jemison and Cyrus employ Rammellzee’s literary theories of Gothic Futurism and Ikonoklast Panzerism, arguing that “language is not a passive vessel or known quantity, but rather possesses the potential to reimagine structures of power.” In Jemison’s slideshow, she will speak about language, literacy, and drawing, implicating the Confessions of Nat Turner, the Supreme Alphabet, presidential doodles, and street fiction within a long narrative of privacy, opacity, and resistance.
Steffani Jemison uses time-based, photographic, and discursive platforms to examine "progress" and its alternatives. Jemison's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Solo exhibitions and performances include MASS MoCA, Jeu de Paume, CAPC Bordeaux, Museum of Modern Art, Nottingham Contemporary, LAXART, and RISD Museum. Collaborative and group presentations include the Brooklyn Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, The Drawing Center, New Museum, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, and others.
Photo Credit: Steffani Jemison, "Alpha's Bet", 2011. Installation at The New Museum. Photo by Naho Kubota. Image courtesy of the artist.