The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause
May 1, 2021 – April 17, 2023
Xaviera Simmons (b. 1974, New York) engages her sweeping practice of photography, painting, video, sound, sculpture, and installation to explore the construction of landscape, language, and complex histories in the United States and its empire building globally. Simmons’ trio of massive sculptures, The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause, physically makes space for conversations regarding reparations, amends and repairs specifically to the descendants of American chattel slavery, a debt that is way past due and one that has been systemically denied for centuries. The work also delves deeply into the racial caste system and the construction of whiteness that has upheld this oppression. Simultaneously, Simmons engages in monumental forms, shapes and texture to construct the work. Drawing on the histories of sculpture, plaster and steel work, Simmons’ practice both engages formal and sociopolitical concerns.