Harlem Postcards Fall/Winter 2004–05

Marepe, Terence Koh, Xaviera Simmons

Terence Koh


Xaviera Simmons

The images I am working through have as their base the notion of “letting the language fall into itself,” as poet Ann Lauterbach has expressed, as a means to dealing with the art making practice. The works are designed to address a concern with language, with it’s implied meanings, conflicting notions, metaphors etc. These current images extend themselves to an exploration of the Black vernacular and physical landscape as a foundation.

The images are portraits and self portraits that explore the subjective position of a non fixed and multiple identity. My work is accomplished using both the public environment (i.e. outside landscape, strangers) and a more traditional, private studio space. By this, the images often incorporate strangers and passersby’s; at times the passerby becomes part of the image and at other times he/she has a hand in the image making process. It is in this way that the audience/viewer of the process becomes a collaborator in the image making. I am excited to blur the boundaries of a studio practice with a public art making practice and an incorporation of performance (through self portraiture in the public landscape).