Xaviera Simmons, Sundown (Number Twenty), 2019. Courtesy the artist and David Castillo Gallery, Miami

We are pleased to present new and existing works by Xaviera Simmons at Liverpool Biennial 2021.

The photographic installation brings together the artist’s Sundown and Index series and will be shown at the Cotton Exchange building in the city centre, nearby the docks.

In the Sundown series, Simmons delves into colonial history and the formation of the contemporary American narrative. Using archival imagery to revisit colonial America, the establishment of slavery, the Antebellum South, the Jim Crow era, Black reconstruction, Black migration, and the Civil Rights era, the artist sets out to investigate how the idea of ‘whiteness’, seldom spoken about, and its supremacy have been formed and perpetuated.

Using strategies of accumulation and abstraction, the Index series, are a reflection on the hybrid nature of identity. The human-like figures present a complex amalgam of signifiers that symbolize the cultural and socio-political baggage that everyone carries. Toying with the anonymity of the figure, these objects start forming a portrait of the carrier, suggesting the role of visual stories in the understanding of our own identities and that of the other.

Alongside the exhibition, Simmons will host a public event as part of Liverpool Biennial’s Liquid Club series. Other associated digital programme on our own channels will be announced soon.

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