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Jim Simmons: Ignoring Content


Tue 18 Oct 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Wed 19 Oct 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Thu 20 Oct 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Fri 21 Oct 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sat 22 Oct 2011, 11:00am–4:00pm

Where: Photospace, Level 1, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: James Gilberd

Content is an almost inescapable aspect of photography, but for this body of work I have opened myself up to the pure and simple delights and pleasures of seeing everything but the content - colour, line, shape, space and quality of light. These are small visual joys - harmonious tableaux - that can be seen everywhere around us if we are open to them and allow ourselves the time to sink into them.

As much as I like to think of these as abstract paintings, they are wholly photographic in nature, using lens perspective and crisp accurate representation to flatten and fix the elements both spatially and within a frame. Although you see blue hoses, pink stakes or green rubbish bins, I think of these as strokes or smears of colour on fields of texture or indefinite space.

As I worked to flatten space more and more, I also began to expand space by working with an old Russian stereo camera. The stereo work explores image structure in a different manner from the 2D images, but the seeing comes from a similar frame of mind.

An unashamed concern with beauty is somewhat out of fashion in some art circles these days, but it can't be denied, because we are simply wired to respond to beauty. It gives us pleasure, and it can be found emanating from the unlikeliest of settings.

Jim Simmons is an architectural photographer and videogame producer/designer. His short art films have been shown at film festivals in the US, Europe and Australia. He has taught photography and the creative process at university level.

After two years of architecture school at the University of Arkansas, Jim studied photography with Ben Lifson and experimental animation with Jules Engel and Pat O'Neill at California Institute of the Arts. Following a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Calarts, he spent two years teaching and photographing in his native Arkansas Ozarks, before returning to Los Angeles to work in the movie special effects industry.

Following graduate studies in fiction screenwriting at Stanford University in California's Silicon Valley, Jim began a 20-year career designing and producing electronic toys and computer/video games for Hasbro, Disney, Electronic Arts, and MGM. Award-winning projects included Psychic Detective, an interactive movie that screened at the Sundance Film Festival and other festivals in the US and Europe.

Jim immigrated to New Zealand from the US in 2005, becoming a citizen in 2009. Since arriving in Wellington, his architectural photography has been published in New Zealand and British architecture magazines and in the books Long Live the Modern and Maori Architecture.

This is Jim's first public photography show in New Zealand.

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