10A Untitled from the Utah series
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Xaviera Simmons works at the intersection of performance art and photography. For her Utah series, she staged herself as different figures trekking through the state’s rugged and wild terrain. The works recall iconic images of the westward expansion in early photography and landscape painting of the 1800s, when artists began to explore America’s frontier. In these photographs, she places herself directly into this artistic and historic legacy—an active participant in the documentation of grand vistas surrounding her, with a large-format camera in hand—thus drawing attention to the overlooked and undervalued roles of African Americans in that narrative.