Xaviera Simmons explores the boundaries between fiction and reality, and public and private space, in a range of mediums that has included photography, sculpture, performance, audio, video, and installation. In staged photographic images, Simmons points to diverse narratives and probes the place of the image in the construction of personal histories and identities. In One Day and Back Then (Standing) (2008), Simmons’s character stands in a field of sea reeds in blackface, wearing all black and staring out at viewers defiantly. Simmons frequently incorporates music into her work; for Electric Relaxation, the artist presented an installation in which hundreds of jazz, hip-hop and soul LPs were affixed to the wall in a lounge-like environment where viewers could relax and listen to music. Similarly, How To Break Your Own Heart comprised a storefront installation, rehearsal, and performance space available for use by musicians and open to the general public. “It excites me to revive the elements of chance and surprise that early hip-hop and turntable artists once confronted individuals in their communities with,” she has said.