Quotes by Xaviera Simmons

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I'm a big researcher. I love libraries and archives and I have a huge National Geographiccollection. I have a good amount of books and records, and I'm on the Internet. I think research yields a lot and can help you pull different discordant works that may not be harmonious. Through time and with patience and focus, you bring them all together. more...

Everything I make is with intention. I'm not very haphazard with my artist work, although I wish I was sometimes. I'm very conscious of the conversations I'm pushing about different threads and themes around landscape and characters that exist - how it's pictured, who's pictured it, who's owned it and who's been able to inhabit certain spaces. I have other interests as well. I'm really obsessed now with going to gay male dance clubs. I find those thrilling. I'm interested in what future characters can come. more...

My studio works in cycles. I am consistent with all of the practices, but I give attention to one part for a certain amount of time. I say, "Okay, I'm making performances," and sometimes that means I can't be making photographic works. As I'm maturing as an artist, years have passed and I feel that I'm becoming a better craftsperson in multiple fields, but that takes time. Also, because I trained as an actor, I hold this thing about how an actor prepares and therefore I try to prepare for all of my tasks. more...

During my performances, I don't like folks to take pictures because I feel that we live in a very photographic time. Photography was invented over 100 years ago, and now it's at its peak because everyone has a camera. The fact that they are taking experiences and filtering them through a mechanical lens I find amazing, but also disheartening. Amazing when you have photographs that start revolutions. Disheartening when you have people making photographs but not living. more...

Now everyone's main objective of taking photographs is to have a photograph for Twitter or Facebook. I find that troubling. If you have an opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama, don't work out your camera or iPhone issues. Sit and a listen to what the man is saying, because nine times out of 10, you're not going to look at that photo. You're not going to look at the video. As a photographer, I don't carry a camera. I have my iPhone, but I don't carry a camera. I want to live. more...

I'm a really optimistic, positive person, but I've been heartbroken on a social and political level, heartbroken on a personal level and anywhere in between. I think heartbreak is one of the best artist's catalysts for creation. That doesn't mean one should look for heartbreak; I don't agree with that. At a certain point you can use heartbreaks from other people's stories, your own life or before. You don't have to dwell on heartbreak. more...


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