With CODED Xaviera Simmons hopes to spark a conversation about what it means to construct the masculine and feminine in art. CODED is a conceptual performance work conceived by Simmons. It is inspired by archival images of constructed masculinity and femininity and the male pose as they relate to multiple subcultures. Through her research Simmons will mine these important and significant topics to construct the work. With this performance Simmons hopes to encourage her audience to reflect upon the methods we use to construct gender roles as well as how we engage topics of sexuality, aesthetic freedom, sensuality. Simmons hopes that this project will encourage the audience to contemplate the necessity of engaging the sheer pleasure of looking at bodies in motion.
An entire building-wide exhibition at The Kitchen will feature photographs and installations by Xaviera Simmons as well as the premiere of CODED where the gallery exhibition opens on June 22 and closes on July 30, 2016.
The performance dates for CODED are Thursday, July 21 and Friday, July 22, 2016. See http://thekitchen.org/event/xaviera-simmons-coded for further details.
I am a visual and performance artist who experimentally uses archival and historical imagery as source material to build the language of my works. CODED is a movement-based performance that explores the sheer pleasure of looking as well as using the practice of looking at and enjoying the sensual, the sexual and the queer/homoerotic as its foundation. CODED is an exploration of sensual poses and gestures in line with ideas surrounding constructed male masculinity and how the female form can interpret these constructions. Visually traversing the multi-faceted and multi-cultural American landscape, we confront the immediate and inevitable intermingling of cultures, bodies and sexualities. With CODED, I hope to engage this landscape and produce new thought on what it means to construct the masculine and the feminine in art.
Who is Xaviera Simmons and What is The Kitchen?
Xaviera Simmons is a critically acclaimed artist whose massive body of work spans photography, performance, video, sound, sculpture and installation. Xaviera has had exhibitions worldwide including The Museum Of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum and The Whitney Museum Of American Art. Xaviera is the recipient of numerous and significant awards including an acclaimed Foundation For Contemporary Art Award in Visual Art.
The Kitchen was founded in 1971 as an artist collective and is now one of New York City’s oldest nonprofit spaces, showing innovative work by emerging and established artists across disciplines. The Kitchen was among the very first American institutions to embrace the emerging fields of video and performance, while presenting visionary work in established disciplines such as dance, music, literature, and film. Since its inception, The Kitchen has been a powerful force in shaping the cultural landscape of this country, and has helped launch the careers of many artists who have gone on to achieve worldwide prominence.
Why is this important?
Art-making compels us to see the world as fertile ground for experimentation—to take notice of the environment around us and use what is gathered to create new, engaging, educational and thought-provoking work. By creating and exploring ways of seeing, CODED will create a visual pathway to new thought, new movement, and new explorations of our right to visual freedom. In addition to the actual performances, CODED will work as a platform to hold workshops that engage youth both locally and abroad through on site conversations and social media.
By commissioning CODED you are not only supporting the creative visions of Xaviera Simmons and The Kitchen, you're joining a community of individuals who understand the importance of artists taking risks and you're also supporting two of the most underfunded forms of art: dance and performance.
Your contribution will support fair rehearsal and performance wages for all performers involved as well as a production team which includes lighting, sound, set and costume design. Your support will also provide the funding for youth inspired workshops that will open up this creative process for the next generation.
Funding CODED through commission makes the project accountable to the public. Radical art-making enriches the entire community. With the community as sponsor, artists and commissioners become co-creators of a process and project that will liberate and stimulate all.
What will your contribution support?
Xaviera is seeking funds to bring the world premier of CODED to fruition. Every pledge will support the creation of this new work.
CODED also exposes youth to the creative process and the politics of art. It will support a team of dancers, producers and theater technicians as they create alongside us. Beyond the talent, your contribution will provide funding for rehearsal time and space, costumes, lighting, and the important resources for youth workshops.
Risks and challenges
CODED is an experimental project that requires time and dedication from everyone involved. I have produced many performance based works and most of them are collaborative and require teamwork. While I am confident that everyone who has agreed to work with me on CODED is committed, I also know that the rehearsal and performance process can be challenging but I am certain that we can create an environment that is supportive to everyone involved with this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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