Xaviera Simmons/ Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp
November 18, 2017 – February 25, 2018
Prospect.4 Welcome by Artistic Director Trevor Schoonmaker
+ Gallery Talk by Katie Pfohl and Filipa Oliveira, with P.4 artists Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Xaviera Simmons: Saturday, Nov 18, 2pm
PhotoNOLA Opening Celebration & Keynote Address with Xaviera Simmons: Thursday, Dec 7, 6-10pm
Working across multiple media, including photography, sculpture, installation, performance, and sound, Xaviera Simmons’ interdisciplinary practice repositions our understanding of memory, time, and the landscape. For Prospect.4, Simmons created a new, site-specific commission that is based on the idea of distillation. Tapping into narratives of migration, diaspora, landscape, spatial politics, and people, Simmons’ has created an installation that she calls as a 360-degree view of the aforementioned themes. Her work acknowledges how perspective can be both concentrated and distilled, tied to many peoples but reflective of the present moment. This multimedia installation—comprised of new photographs, a text work, and video— relies on themes inherent to New Orleans, such as water, access, and history, presented in the format of a record, or LP. Each element included in the installation is a track, each track creates the larger composition.
NOMA will host a Prospect Opening Weekend Celebration on Saturday, November 18, beginning at 2pm. Events will include a Welcome by Prospect.4 Artistic Director Trevor Schoonmaker, in the Central Court. There will also be a Gallery Talk by NOMA Curator Katie Pfohl, and Filipa Oliveira, P.4 Artistic Director’s Council, with P.4 artists Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Xaviera Simmons in the Modern and Contemporary Galleries.
On Thursday, December 7, 2017, the New Orleans Photo Alliance presents P.4 artist Xaviera Simmons as Keynote speaker for the PhotoNOLA Festival at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The PhotoNOLA Opening Celebration, a ticketed event, runs from 6-10pm, with Simmons’ presentation beginning at 7pm in the auditorium.
Xaviera Simmons’ work spans photography, performance, video, sound, sculpture, and installation. She defines her studio practice, which is rooted in an ongoing investigation of experience, memory, abstraction, present and future histories- specifically shifting notions surrounding landscape- as cyclical rather than linear. Simmons is committed equally to the examination of different artistic modes and processes. Simmons received her BFA from Bard College (2004) after spending two years on a walking pilgrimage retracing the Transatlantic slave trade with Buddhist monks. She completed the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in Studio Art (2005) while simultaneously completing a two-year actor-training conservatory with The Maggie Flanigan Studio. In 2015, Simmons was awarded the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (Robert Rauschenberg) Grant. Simmons has exhibited nationally and internationally where major exhibitions and performances include The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Public Art Fund, The Sculpture Center, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and Brooklyn Museum, among many others. Her works are in major museum and private collections including The Nasher Museum, Deutsche Bank, The Rubell Family Collection, UBS, The Guggenheim Museum, The Agnes Gund Art Collection, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Studio Museum in Harlem, ICA Miami, High Museum, Perez Art Museum Miami, and David Castillo Gallery.
Image: Xaviera Simmons, Red Number One, 2016
Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery, Miami
Prospect New Orleans is a citywide triennial of contemporary art. Emphasizing collaborative partnerships, Prospect presents the work of diverse local, national, and international artists in unique and culturally exceptional venues, creating an optimistic cartography through the education and engagement of residents and visitors.