(Harvest): Any Number of Myths and Stories

Xaviera Simmons
November 13 - December 1, 2010

David Castillo Gallery is proud to present (Harvest): Any Number of Myths and Stories, a solo exhibition by Xaviera Simmons. (Harvest): Any Number of Myths and Stories explores notions of landscape and character while also asserting ideas surrounding gain through power, agency, and mysticism utilizing photography, sculpture, text, video and installation.


Simmons’ work emerges from a constant observation of natural and urban environments as they relate to social, political, personal and art histories. In a continuous series of photographs she presents the landscape as the pivotal stimulus of perception. For Simmons, the landscape serves as a central and formative catalyst capable of generating ideas surrounding place, time and the characters that populate and are active within these diverse locales. In this series of photographic works landscape is explored as an agent that not only acts as a central character but also forms the characters that populate it. In doing so Simmons’ work complicates notions of idealism as they have been illustrated through the representation of the human presence in the landscape and throughout art history.


In a series of manipulated found animal imagery Simmons unearths the relationship between predator and prey. For this body of photographic works, Simmons constructs an archive collection of photographic images gleaned from low-resolution jpegs that depict one creature’s natural dominance over another. Through photographic manipulation, Simmons attempts to deconstruct the intent and original content of these source photographs to construct an entirely new narrative link. This new photographic narrative asserts the artist’s agency over images that were traditionally associated with news, personal and other found image sources. Through her manipulation of these found images, Simmons works to construct a new narrative based on the presence of gain that operates within the shared experiences of desire and fear and between predator and prey. This experience culminates in a moment of intimacy between both entities and preludes the ecstasy found in gratification and death.


Simmons produces photographic, installation, audio, performative, sculptural and video works. Her creative impulse delves into the mechanisms of narrative, whether they emerge as myths, histories or the reflections of a collected memory. Her works are the result of the unraveling and reworking of diverse narratives to construct new, non-linear narratives through manipulation, humor, observation and candor. Her narratives oscillate between the realms of fact and fiction.


Xaviera Simmons was born in New York and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA in photography from Bard College, and completed the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program in Studio Art while also completing a two-year actor training conservatory with The Maggie Flanigan Studio. She has held multiple important residencies and exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at institutions nationally and internationally, including The Studio Museum in Harlem; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; The Sculpture Center, New York; Múcsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest; Zacheta National Art Gallery, Warsaw, Poland; Art in General. Simmons’s work was included in the 2010 Exhibition Greater New York at MoMA PS1 in Queens, NY.


Upcoming in 2010 and 2011 Simmons will produce photographic, sound, performance and sculptural works in conjunction with MoMA PS.1, The Studio Museum, The Goethe Institute/Wyoming Building, The Kitchen, New York, The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, The Bronx Museum of Art and The Center For Contemporary Art, Prague and The Center for Art Design and Visual Culture, Baltimore among many other venues. She is currently featured in the November 2010 issue of Modern Painters.


Xaviera Simmons’ works are in the collections of Deutsche Bank, The High Museum Of Art, Atlanta, The Nasher Museum Of Art at Duke University, The Rubell Family Collection, The Studio Museum In Harlem and The Agnes Gund Art Collection.

Xaviera Simmons