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At the Weatherspoon: Xaviera Simmons, Falk Visiting Artist

Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo, Miami
Currents, 2010. Chromogenic color print, edition of 3, 40 x 50 in.

I am always thinking about the overall history of painting (which is quite long) and the history of photography (which is quite brief). I think about the characters that have or have not populated or owned their lives inside of those imaginative, speculative spaces.

Xaviera Simmons

Artist Talk by Xaviera Simmons on Thursday, Mar 11 at 7 p.m., virtual event.

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Here, the figure views a canyon in the American west through a vintage camera. When that land was first photographed in the late 1800s, it was by White men who had already enacted brutality upon it by staking territories for mining, railroads, and other industrial expansions—claims made at the violent expense of Native inhabitants. Situating the figure in the role of surveyor, Simmons asks us to consider those who have been a part of this landscape over time.

By what means have some claimed it? Under what pressures have others been forced to release it?