Artists | Xaviera Simmons
When You're Looking At Me, You're Looking At Country
Xaviera Simmons in conversation with The Fulton and Elliott Houses, Chelsea
On October 1st – 4th, multi-media artist Xaviera Simmons offered free photographic portraits to community members on the grounds of the Fulton and Elliott houses, Chelsea, New York in collaboration with More Art and Hudson Guild.
All residents were invited to sit for a free of charge portrait. Simmons constructed an open-air studio and photographed her subjects with a large format film camera. Participants were asked to bring personal items that they may want to be photographed with (i.e family photographs, special clothing, personal ephemera. etc) and Simmons worked with them to create photographic narratives based on their personal memories, supplemented by these items. The artist developed and printed each chosen exhibition image which she then gifted to each participant. This body of work is a continuation of Simmons’ practice of producing out door photographic studios and offering hand printed portraits, free of charge. This project was equal parts classic photographic portraiture studio and performance art.
The final photographs were shown in the Hudson Guild Art Galleries on February 9th to March 27th 2012.Funding for this project has been provided in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with The NYC Council, and individual donors through a Kickstarter campaign. The project was made possible by the special assistance of the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts.