Archive for Xaviera Simmons
On September 16, The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University continues its series on art and vinyl with an artist talk by Xaviera Simmons followed by a performance by Superchunk.
Trevor Schoonmaker, curator, on The Record:
“Since the heyday of vinyl, and through its decline and recent resurgence, a surprising number of artists have worked with vinyl records. The Record presents some of the best, rarest and most unexpected examples. The artists in the exhibition use the vinyl record as metaphor, archive, artifact, icon, portrait, or transcendent medium.”
New York artist Adam Pendleton on New York photographer Xaviera Simmons.
Simmons, as an artist, doubles down. She captures the fiction/truth dialectic as well as anyone, dis-articulating assumptions about the quietly composed and staged images she makes. She’s a Brecht of the photographic endeavor. In her work, Simmons is not so much documenting the performance before the camera, but the performance itself. In one image from the series If We Believe in Theory, Simmons captures a young girl in the woods dressed like Little Red Riding Hood. It’s an example of Simmons using the suggestion of performance to capture the explicit and contradictory nature of individuality. Her subject becomes herself, and also a dismembered characterization of what we’re accustomed to look at. Still, it is not simply Simmons’s understanding of the imagistic theater of photography that is useful, but her way of using form to acknowledge that image is at the center of the creative construction of collective and personal histories. Simmons is a lexicographer who fuses live material and conceptual conceit; she deconstructs and retains a relation to specific times and places. Perhaps paradoxically, she often achieves this through unabashedly excessive detail, like in One Day and Back Then (Standing), where her character stands in a field of sea reeds in blackface, looking out at us, wearing all black (including stiletto boots), ready for a night out on the town.