Boston-based artist Jeannie Simms’ work is rooted in the history of photography and the moving image. She is interested in language, labor, citizenship, and migration. In 2017 she initiated a project, Under the Sun, about immigration in the Italian town of Sant’Alessio in Aspromonte, where she worked with the city administration and the local immigrant community to create two participatory cyanotypes (cyan-blue cameraless photographs). Immigrants foraged abandoned residences for objects that reminded them of the concept of “home”. With Simms, they arranged them on enormous photosensitive cotton sheets and exposed them to the sunlight. The results are images of ghostly domestic objects that seem to float in a sea of blue, evoking the displacement endured by immigrants fleeing their homes.
This project was presented at Boston City Hall, as part of an ongoing collaboration between Boston City Hall and Greater Boston’s leading cultural organizations, in this case, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. The project was on view in the main atrium of the building, August 20 – October 5, 2018.