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On-Site at OFF/SITE

“Can I Lead Walking Beside You?”: Stephen Burks, Belinda Becker and Xaviera Simmons

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Wednesday evening marked my first visit down to the OFF/SITE space while a “transmission” was in session. As I entered the building, warm light suffused the walls and ceilings, while the amplified voices of that night’s participants, Stephen Burks, industrial designer, artist and traveler, and Belinda Becker, visual artist, DJ, historian and dancer, were emitted from within the giant studio.

On-site at OFF/SITE

Looking Ahead: The Nucleus of Collaboration

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  • “Flowchart” for Xaviera Simmons: junctures (transmissions to) envelope/brochure, front side.
     

  • Essays by Naomi Beckwith & Thomas Lax for Xaviera Simmons: junctures (transmissions to) envelope/brochure, back side.

Part of my role here at the Museum involves devising interpretative materials and exploring how different technologies or reading materials can expand a visitor’s experience of the artwork on view. There is a fine balance between how much context and information is revealed, and how much is left to visitors to interpret for themselves. This became especially interesting when putting together didactics—including this blog—for Xaviera Simmons: junctures (transmissions to). How do you describe a project that is so much about protecting the element of spontaneity and surprise? How do you maintain this balance while describing what is “behind the scenes” of a project that is, essentially, already about what happens behind the scenes? How do you convey or describe a work or exhibition as your own highly personal experience of it, but also something much larger?

Xaviera Simmons: junctures (transmissions to) Opening Reception

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  • Photo: Jason Riffe

  • Photo: Jason Riffe

  • Photo: Jason Riffe

  • Photo: Jason Riffe

Xaviera Simmons’s project junctures (transmissions to) kicked off the Studio Museum and Goethe-Institut New York’s yearlong partnership, OFF/SITE, last Friday. Artists, staff and friends of the Studio Museum gathered in the East Village at the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building to enjoy the unveiling of the installation, chat with the artist and admire the finches that inspired much of Xaviera’s thinking around the project. Many guests explored the interior of otherwise-closed Xaviera’s “studio” structure, which they were free to peruse for the evening. If you were unable to make it to our opening reception, flip through the photo gallery above to get a peek into the spirit of the evening.

On-Site at OFF/SITE

The Making of OFF/SITE: It's for the Birds

  • Exhibition Manager Marc Bernier

Hello! Studio Museum Program Assistant Abbe Schriber, here. I will be blogging weekly about the exhibition Xaviera Simmons: junctures (transmissions to), opening this Friday, September 24 at the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building. This project launches OFF/SITE, our yearlong collaboration with the Goethe-Institut New York that brings together two culturally specific institutions to explore self-reflexive notions of place, subjective experience and physical presence (or absence). My posts will investigate some of the conceptual themes underlying Xaviera’s project. Additionally, readers will receive a dispatch from inside the physical gallery space and a behind-the-scenes look at how a rather unconventional exhibition is put together.

off/site

Studio Museum x Goethe-Institut

This fall the Studio Museum launches its collaboration with Goethe-Institut New York, the German government’s cultural institution in the city. off/site will include public programs at the Studio Museum, as well as exhibitions, artist projects, and programs in the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building—a newly renovated gallery space in the East Village. Taking place outside of Harlem and a distance from Germany, this joint effort speaks to each institution’s commitment to contemporary ideas and cultural specificity within a global context. off/site engages an aesthetic of experimentation, collaboration and interactivity, prioritizing local interventions that reference multiple identities and locations.

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