Teachers Monarchs and a sound of teaching
solo exhibition by Tim Simonds
March 20 - May 2
Artillery Magazine, by Peter Brock
Brooklyn Rail, video, Art in Transit
recorded online performance:
A Sound of Teaching with Sophie Delphis and Houman Harouni
with a written response by Delphis:
Reflections on Learning
other related material:
Tongue and Cheek radio broadcast
a conversation about teaching
with Tim Simonds and Bethany Ides
broadcast on Montez Press Radio, March 27, 2021
and Wave Farm, WGXC (90.7FM, NY), April 6, 2021
Exhibition virtual tour, scanned by Bruce White
'Teachers Monarchs: Vents alighted on activity table #1' (2021) green/gray nebula activity table acquired from Starlight Preparatory, steel, plastic, zip ties, water, paint, traces of bleach, watercolor, collards
'Teachers Monarchs: Vents alighted on activity table #2' (2021) woodgrain activity table acquired from a day care center in Rock Tavern, NY, steel, plastic, zip ties, water, paint, traces of bleach, watercolor, collards
'Teachers Monarchs: Vents alighted on activity table #3' (2021) yellow activity table borrowed from JEI Learning Center Bensonhurst, steel, plastic, zip ties, water, paint, traces of bleach, watercolor, collards
'Sound of Teaching (Leashes): The students act and the teacher has the illusion of acting through the actions of the students' (2020) acrylic paint, tracing paper, plastic film, neopastel, watercolor, metal
'Sound of Teaching (Puppet): The students speak and the teacher listens meekly' (2021) boiled plastic, zip ties, acrylic paint, tracing paper, acetate, plastic film, neopastel, watercolor, muslin, wax
detail: 'Sound of Teaching (Puppet): The students speak and the teacher listens meekly' (2021) boiled plastic, zip ties, acrylic paint, tracing paper, acetate, plastic film, neopastel, watercolor, muslin, wax
left: 'Sound of Teaching (Wreath): The students know everything and the teacher knows nothing' (2021) boiled plastic, zip ties, acrylic paint, tracing paper, acetate, plastic film, neopastel, watercolor
right: 'Teachers Monarchs, Conviviality' (2021) oil pastel, tape, paper, framed
installation photos by Dario Lasagni
The teacher had a butterfly on a string. He would bring it to class weighing down the end of the string under his stack of notes. It would flut around and then sit patiently on the back of an empty chair, honing its wings, slow—the pace of breathing. There is no breathing in class so this was the class’s breath. Then, at a moment when the teacher picked up his notes to remind himself of something it would float up, pulling its string around the semicircle of chairs, leaving a loop in its slack around each student. By the time it came around, 8, 11 or 15 loops draping off each desk, lines over notebooks, across course-packets, a folded arm, a pen, in some places hanging down near the floor, in some places falling over a shoulder or missing a desk entirely and across two knees… By that time, the end of the string would be clearly swept from the teacher’s desk and the butterfly would settle down again on the back of the same chair, hone its wings and breathe again for the class. The students would take each loop of string and rest it on the crown of their heads, so that when their heads would sway the butterfly would beat its wings a bit faster. At the end of the class, the teacher would ask for the end of the string back, collecting a loop from each student as they said farewell. With it all coiled in hand he would sit for a minute in the room alone with his butterfly, breathe deep and glance once more to the side to synchronize his breath with the butterfly’s.
Another class would be another dance, the butterfly always lifting off at the moment the teacher reached again for his notes. In the slack of its leash, the butterfly would trace the breeze, twitches, glances, movements of bodies, not-thoughts, and everything else that happened in the class except for the learning.
Teachers Monarchs #1 (2020) watercolor, graphite, pastel on paper
'Teachers Monarchs #2' (2020) watercolor, graphite, pastel on paper
'Teachers Monarchs, Bouquet of Leashes #1' (2020) watercolor, graphite, pastel on paper
'Teachers Monarchs, Bound by Direction #1' (2020) watercolor, graphite, pastel on paper
'Teachers Monarchs, Bound by Conviviality #1' (2020) watercolor, graphite, pastel on paper
'Teachers Monarchs, Bound by Conviviality #5' (2021) watercolor, graphite, pastel on paper
'Teachers Monarchs and a sound of teaching' brings together a group of performative sculptures and works on paper by Tim Simonds. “Streamers” move to the ambient environment and in the presence of bodies around them. Arrangements of “Teachers Monarchs” rest on a gathering of educational tables. The works are on view by daylight.
The tables are borrowed and acquired from Starlight Preparatory, JEI Learning Center Bensonhurst, and a day care center in Rock Tavern, NY. Thank you to these learning centers in addition to the support and contributions by Conor Klein, Ondřej Smetana, and Bella Janssens.
This is Tim Simonds’ second solo exhibition with the Cathouse project, his first was at Cathouse FUNeral in 2015, titled 'In Corners'. His work has been presented at Rond-Point Projects (France), Da (New York), Special Special (New York), as a part of group shows and performative projects at WPN, Greene Naftali, Burlington City Arts, Spencer Brownstone, Rumpelstiltskin, Knockdown Center, and Cleopatra’s. He has published and presented his writing in forums around food, architecture, and performance, in Put an Egg on it, PIN-UP magazine, at EPFL, and conferences at Pratt, Brown and Princeton. Since 2018, he has had a collaborative radio project on Montez Press Radio (NYC) and WGXC, Wave Farm (Acra, NY) dedicated to vocal exercises and leading the listener, with Aaron Lehman and Emma McCormick-Goodhart. He received an MA in Performance Studies from Brown University and has taught at NYU’s Department of Art, and between Pratt’s Fine Arts, Architecture and Humanities & Media Studies departments. He currently teaches in and coordinates Pratt’s Studio Writing program. He lives and works in New York.