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Xaviera Simmons exhibits at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Xaviera Simmons, Horse, 2009. Color photograph, 38 3/4 x 49 3/4. Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery, Miami.

By: Amy Smith-Stewart


RIDGEFIELD, CONN.- Xaviera Simmons's body of work spans photography, performance, video, sound and installation. She defines her studio practice, which is rooted in an ongoing investigation of experience, memory, abstraction, present and future histories, and specifically shifting notions surrounding landscape, as cyclical rather than linear.

For Underscore, Simmons looks at how artists draw directly from the movements, subtitles, and concepts of other practitioners in order to produce work. She makes visible the rehearsal process of studio practice, with its ups, downs, and in-betweens, showing how inspiration informs rehearsing, which as it unfolds gives birth to new expression in the culminating work. The exhibition includes two photographs from the Untitled (Cape) series; a slide installation, Into the Rehearsal (2013); and the premiere of a site-specific performance work, Number 17 (2013).

In Warm Leatherette and Horse (both 2009), Simmons selects diverse record sleeves as the catalyst for the photographs; simultaneously landscape surveyor, photographer, actor, and musician, she stages characters in scenic locales with each face (re)placed by an LP cover depicting a familiar portrait of a musician. This project combines her engagement with landscape, locales, portraiture and performance.

Simmons examines contemporary modes of collecting and archiving in Into the Rehearsal, showing forty slides of digitally manipulated low-res images culled from online Jamaican dance hall footage. Projected on a slow fade in a locked room, seen through an aperture, these images focus on a popular form of dance called daggering.

Number 17, the artist's most complex endurance-based performance to date, will be presented over five hours on opening day at The Aldrich, transforming the Opatrny Gallery into an active rehearsal/studio space, where the audience will confront "acts" of visual and sound construction, informed by post-modern avant-garde performance techniques, improvisational sound art, endurance practices, and action painting. A video recording and vestiges of the artistic process will not only document the event and its aftermath, but act as testament to the synergy of art, its production, immediate reception, and everlasting legacy..

As a totality, the works on view underscore the experimental, the improvisational, and the collaborative as critical systems of art practice, collapsing the artist/audience and artist/performer dynamic to make evident the processes during and after the making.





Today's News

December 27, 2013

Masterpieces from the Museo del Prado on view at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

The Self in Focus: The Leopold Museum in Vienna presents major Oskar Kokoschka exhibition

"Georges Braque: From colour to engraved purity" at Le centre d'art la Malmaison

"130919 · A Portrait of Marina Abramoviċ" by Matthu Placek to be presented at Sundance Film Festival

Galerie de Bayser owner Louis de Bayser appointed Chairman of the Salon du dessin

"Hermann Landshoff: A Retrospective - Photographs 1930-1970" on view at the Münchner Stadtmuseum

De Hallen Haarlem holds farewell exhibition for departing Director Karel Schampers

Pilchuck Glass School's Diane Wright to join Chrysler Museum of Art as the Barry Curator of Glass

Exhibition focuses on Josephine and Napoleon's life at L'Hôtel de la rue de la Victoire

Whitechapel Gallery appoints curator and editor Omar Kholeif as its new curator

The Art Show celebrates 26 years featuring 39 thematic presentations alongside 33 solo artist booths

Orly Genger's outdoor installation, including 1.4 million feet of painted rope, on view at deCordova

Snapshot of art history becomes lasting resource of instruction, outreach, and research

A season of wonder and holiday favorites at the Morris Museum

All About Pop: Solo exhibit of Houston artist, Mitch McGee at 1stdibs@New York Design Center

Seven emerging artists all working with the city as a theme exhibit at Dickinson Roundell Inc.

Xaviera Simmons exhibits at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Japan's 'Tree Town' sculptors make living art

Sony World Photography Awards 2014: Judges revealed alongside last call for entries

Accident Nothing: Aran Cravey Gallery opens new location with exhibition by Guy Yanai

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