Theo Sims – 2015 Brooklyn Visual Arts Residency

Theo Sims is a visual artist whose installations often focus on the juxtapositioning of the familiar and the everyday with a contextual subversion. Theo’s projects play with space as a conceptual tool. Theo fuses wit and humour with the emotional, the ephemeral and the personal. Several of his recent activities as both artist and curator lend themselves to participatory projects or collaborations with other artists, curators, musicians, writers and even politicians.

Residency Project

For his three month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), Theo will be researching and developing a new installation comprised of a series of vignettes. He will be employing a technique used in several of his previous works, where he creates an illusion through a kind of conceptual fourth wall; unsettling the viewer, placing them momentarily in a suspension of not quite knowing where the divisions of reality and fiction stand.

Theo Sims Report from Brooklyn, May 2015

I am now two thirds of my way through the residency here at ISCP – it has been an incredibly rewarding experience, filling me with creative, mental and physical energy! In my first month, its been a whirlwind of gallery going, meeting curators such as Nova Benway of the Drawing Centre, Matthew Higgs at White Columns and Carnegie International curator Tina Kukielski. I also went to curatorial tours at the Grey Art Gallery with Susan Hapgood, an associate curators tour of the Triennial at the New Museum and just recently a tour of the amazing On Kawara retrospective at the Guggenheim.

I recently participated in ISCPs open studios where I rolled out a new performance piece working with a Manhattan actor called Mark Byrne. Mark played a semi fictional artist from the south of England, who taught sculpture evening classes. Marks character in this performance taught alternative drawing classes, bringing a strange familiarity yet often nonsensical delivery to the drawing tasks. He managed to work with over 100 members of the public and brought conceptual and psychological theories or questions to the piece.

I am currently looking to get the resulting drawings bound as a lasting documentation of the performance and thinking of ways to develop the piece for presentation at other venues.

Part of my time here has also been to meet with art handlers and fabricators. I have also visited several artist studios and starting to get a much better sense of how New York art world works. My remaining month will be mainly following up on contacts with curators and gallerists and attempting to find new opportunities to show my work.