Pop Culture
Feb 01, 2024, 06:28AM

It’s All Just Fertilizer for the Works

A 1980 Archives of American Art interview with furniture designer Ray Kaiser Eames vs. a 2012 Art Pulse Magazine interview with multi-disciplinary artist Xaviera Simmons.

Xaviera simmons web.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Ray Kaiser Eames: And it was so marvelous, because we just didn't know where we wanted to be, and that was terribly fortunate, I think, for us that there was a vacancy.

Xaviera Simmons: I believe the spaces may be different, but the intuitions are the same.

Eames: Yes. I feel that there are all kinds of loose ends, but it will never be solved.

Simmons: Literature, news, music, design, conversations, colors, textures, forms, science, midwifery, travel—it’s all just fertilizer for the works.

Eames: Well, of course it was production in one form, but not finally.


Simmons: An actor really does prepare, and an actor comes and has trained herself to come prepared with the necessary tools to get a job done.

Eames: She was practically an adopted daughter of the Saarinens, of Eliel and Loya Saarinen. She was a darling, a neat person.

Simmons: And the large-scale, text-based wooden sculptural installations like On Balmy Terrain, which is on view at the UMFA, are doing the inverse.

Eames: While we were there, there was a tremendous problem of the exhibition hall not being ready because of the mistake in the formula of the concrete—it turned it to dust before the exhibition was opened and it had to be redone, and the whole exhibition part of the exchange program had to be done in very little time, so we all… anyone there who could help at all plunged in and we had to just, you know, help make it ready.

Simmons: Working in the West as a Northerner feels like being on another planet.


Eames: You know, it's like a club, the people who have seen it and the people who haven't seen it.

Simmons: Oh boy, that’s actually a big one for me.

Eames: Actually, it's someplace in the file.

Simmons: And that’s what I am doing now.

Eames: No, it disappeared, unfortunately.


Register or Login to leave a comment