Simone Kearney

My interest is in borders – specifically, those that establish or negate individuated identities. I highlight the seams of relationships, the friction of margins where things become more, or less, themselves. I make visual embodiments of the transplant, the fragment, the fluid sign. Using sculpture, painting, installation, and video, I see how particular mediums uniquely render instances of encounter and convergence, alignment and misalignment. The dialectic of word vs. matter/image/object serves as a metaphor to parallel relations of intimacy and estrangement, sameness and difference. For me, the work marks an implicit wound, a wound of translation, wound of incompleteness, wounds of language itself, whether verbal or visual.

My background has provided me with numerous ways to engage with concepts of borders and boundaries, and when and how they might be in flux. I was born in Ireland – a country in conflict over borders – into a bicultural household; my first language was French in an English/Gaelic-speaking country; I grew up speaking English in a school that also taught Gaelic; I grew up in Ireland and France until moving to the States at age 15; I work to bridge being a writer and an artist; I have navigated queer identity and the “white-ink” (to echo Hélène Cixous) spaces of being a woman writer and artist. In all, I have found that I am a product of hybridity, as most, or all, of us are. My work seeks to clarify and find forms to articulate the conversation between distinct parts, parts often perforated by ambiguity and strangeness (as Paul Ricoeur writes, “The shortest route from the self to the self is through the other”). The self-same is rife with the non-self-same.

My current body of work is in conversation with the writer Sophie Seita’s play, “Emilia Galotti’s Colouring Book of Feelings.” I have made a sculptural installation with projections in response to her text, which will be performed in New York in the fall. My work thus functions as a parallel body for another “original” body (that of her play), become inflection, subtext, footnote, inflation, deflation, deviation of whatever or whoever is or was the original. The work is an estrangement, an alongsideness. Seita’s text is a queer-feminist adaptation of a series of enlightenment texts, and her play functions as a performance of the act of reading. Building screens and sculptures, as well as producing a series of digital and analogue projections that correspond to Seita’s text, I see this collaborative project as having prepositional relations which mime what the scholar Sarah Ahmed calls a “queer slant,” forming and formulating oblique threads of connections, threads or lines that might go off-center, off-line, into not-quite-falling-into-place(s), veering into new, other, simultaneously alternate (relational) spaces in a way that allows me to think about the materiality and ambiguity of language, how language and objects shape our thinking, identities, and realities; and how ideas and habits must always be reassessed as embodied and material practices.

To this end, I created a series of hinged frames which function as screens onto which images are projected. The frames – at once porous (they can be walked through), imposing (they are 8 ft x 4 ft each and made of solid pine), and familiar (they mimic the scale, structure and material of doorways) – mime the angles and contours of the original text (Emilia Galotti by Gotthold Ephraim Lessig) which Seita’s play is a mash-up of. Hers, like mine in turn, is an act of existing and playing inside and outside the boundaries of the original. With this idea of alongsideness and doubling in mind, I created a series of puppets primarily out of colored mylar for a puppet show which is projected onto sections of sewn mylar that hangs from mobile hooks on hinged wooden frames. Light projections onto the fragile fog-veil surface of the mylar (projections which fall “poorly” onto the surface, misaligned, too small or too large, trespassing onto live bodies of performers, onto the walls of the theatre) become the primary vehicle for considering how the body (as both the text and the matter of the structures, of the mylar) aligns or misaligns with its translation into other/more body (projected image). What capacity does a name/word or a subject/object have to stretch over time and space, how much can it distort and disperse, and at what point is the point of no return reached, the point where the tension between difference and sameness loses its pressure? Combining digital film and live projection with a carousel slide projector, the content of my puppet-show projections ghost both the content of Seita’s play, as well as ghosting my very gesture of making work in response to Seita.

In this way my work uses an approach that the writer Maggie Nelson describes as “leaning against,” or “thinking-with-others” – but a space of leaning against that is thick with “wild associations” instead of “grim congenital inheritance” (Nelson), where “difference is spreading,” to quote Stein quoting Nelson. I reflect, deflect, digest, and transplant. What results is a frail encounter of parts, an encounter of colored light/projected images and screens, bodies, frames. These sets of concerns first found form in my earlier series of leaning painting/sculpture series “The Name of A Self Is Poverty” (2016), itself a line from the poet Alice Notley, used images and lines from Virginia Woolf’s “On Being Ill,” and Luce Irigaray’s “The Sex That Is Not One” as a point of departure to create a series of heavy, dependent or “poor” “bodies” of structures (which at times even echoed the shapes of the alphabet). I sometimes gessoed or chalked lines on the surfaces of the structures, pointing to misalignment, the gesture of attempted alignments, of lines gone “of course,” strayed.

In another body of work entitled “Piehole” (2017), I used domestic site and gesture explore questions of the liminal. In Trump’s America, the dinner table as a site for meditation seemed urgently relevant – this primal site of inclusion and exclusion, this site of border-buildings and border-crossings, where our social, cultural, ethnic and racial identities were constructed and unraveled, alternately. Moreover, the gesture of eating and consumption, was, for me, a way to think about borders (as in, eating is a gesture that is a signature of our incompletion, need to keep filling/completing; or the dinner table is a site of various positive or negative relational exchanges in which we might be built or unbuilt as individuals, families or communities). With an interest in surrealism and the absurd, using the primal material of clay, I tested how far the object of the utensil could be pushed until it became strange to itself. Each utensil evoked a relational gesture, exchange, behavior or interaction (sponging, speaking/pontificating etc.). In addition, I made a series of aquatints and dry-point etchings of shapes which evoked holes and wholes, signs of fullness or emptiness.

Overall, the slippery nature of categories and contingent relationship allows me to question tendencies towards reification and petrification, as they relate, for instance, to the very borders that define the countries we live in, the walls, whether real or psychic, that we build or impose in an effort to exclude others, or parts of ourselves. Showing the slippage between one name/thing and another, and how a whole slew of ambiguities occupy the zones between things, allows our thinking to flex instead of narrow.

EDUCATION

2016 MFA in Painting, LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Arts, Baltimore, MD
2010 MFA in Poetry, Hunter College, New York, NY
2006 BA in English and Philosophy, concentration in Creative Writing, Boston College,

Chestnut Hill, MA, Honors Program, (GPA 3.9), Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude 2005 Junior Year Study Abroad, Paris VII and the Sorbonne

EXHIBITIONS

Solo Shows:

2017 Piehole, Curated by Tryn Collins, Annex Gallery at Lighthouse Works (NPO), Fishers Island, NY

Group Shows:

2018 Installation and performance of Emilia Galotti’s Colouring Book of Feelings, Play written by Sophie Seita, digital projections by Simone Kearney, Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Floor 3, Room 12, Selected for Art Night 2018, London, United Kingdom

2018 Work-in-Progress Performance of Emilia Galotti’s Colouring Book of Feelings, Play written by Sophie Seita in collaboration with sculptures and projections by Simone Kearney, Torn Page, New York, NY

2018 Companion Pieces, Curated by Lydia Rosenberg and Rebecca Steele, Anytime Dept., Cincinnati, OH

2018 Re:Framed, Re: Art Show, Curated by Jane Cavalier And Nicole Kaack, 630 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn, NY

2018 La MaMa Family Show, La MaMa La Galleria, New York, NY
2017 Ultra Pro Festival: Sculptures That Cook, Curated by Michael Tong, The Art Omi

International Arts Center, Ghent, NY

2017 Members Exhibition, W est Cork Arts Center , Skibbereen, W est Cork, Ireland

2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition, Penthouse Gallery, curated by Doreen Bolger, Baltimore, MD

2016 CTFO, Pinkhard Gallery, Curated by Interdisciplinary Approaches to Curatorial Practices (IACP), Baltimore, MD

2015 Neither/Or, Leidy Gallery, Baltimore, MD

2014 Graduate Fall Show, Pinkhard Gallery, Baltimore, MD

2014 This Red Door, Kunsthalle Galapagos, Brooklyn, NY

2014 The Last Brucenniel, organized by Vito Schnabel and the Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY

2014 Andrew Edlin Gallery , Contemporary P oetry T wo, curated by Sam Gordon, presented in collaboration with BOMB magazine and NADA, projection of stop-animation set to poetry video, New York, NY

2012/13 Mothers and Daughters, Union Hall Community Center, Union Hall, West Cork, Ireland

2010 St. Ann’s Warehouse, Puppet show set to poetry, collaboration with Bianca Stone, Alphabet Arts presents Toy Poets Theater, Brooklyn, NY

2010 Morris Gallery, Skibbereen, West Cork, Ireland

Juried Shows:

2015 First Year Juried Show, Leidy Gallery, Baltimore, MD FELLOWSHIPS, RESIDENCIES, AWARDS

2016 The Lighthouse Works Residency, Fishers Island, New York

2016 The Edward F. Albee Foundation Residency, Montauk, New York

2014/16 Hoffberger Scholarship, Maryland Institute College of Arts, Baltimore, MD

2014 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry

2014 Byrdcliffe Artist Colony Residency, full scholarship, Woodstock, NY

2013 Josef and Anni Albers Residency, Bethany, CT

2013 Ragdale Residency, Lake Forest, IL

2010 Amy Award for Best New Female Poets in NY Under 30, Poets & Writers

2006 Jacques Salmanowitz Program For Moral Courage In Film grant from the Boston College Film Department: Full funding to film a documentary on L’Arche Kampala in Uganda

2004 Advanced Study Grant from Boston College to travel to Ireland and interview contemporary Irish poets

PUBLICATIONS

Chapbooks:

2017 My Ida, Ugly Duckling Presse
2013 In Threes, minutes BOOKS, (Limited Edition Artist Chapbook)

Poetry/Text & Image:

2018 Practice Catalogue, Edited by Brandon Kreitler, “Opacity and Transparency,” forthcoming

2018 Riot of Perfume, Issue 10, “Inspiration (2004),” forthcoming

2018 Other Bodies: Catalogue for the exhibition of work by Elliot Doughtie and Emily Culver, Edited by Kyle Kogut, Fjord Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, “Other Bodies,” forthcoming

2018 The Brooklyn Rail, “Like Were”

2018 Lithub, Excerpt from “My Ida”

2017 Ohio Edit, Excerpt from “My Ida”

2015 Literati Quarterly, “Telephone”

2014 PEN Poetry Series, “Rear Window,” “Bends in the Middle,” “Personal Tragedies”

2014 Stonecutter Journal, Issue 4, “Une Barque Sur L ’Océan, ” “Purple Afternoon, ” “Hydromedusa”

2014 Broadstone Books, 84 Poets, with photographs by John Sarsgaard, “Her Carnival Cruise”

2013 Boston Review, “Days”
Bridge Journal, “Fatherless Calligraphy,” (art/poetry collaboration with poet Christian Hawkey)
Ink Brick Journal, “Mobilization,” Silk-screen poetry comic
Ooteoote (Vertaallab/ Translationlab), excerpt from “In Threes,” translated into Dutch
Belladonna Chaplet Series, “What is Process?”
The Feeling i$ mutual: A li$t of our fucking demand$, ed. by Sara Wintz, published by Compline, “Untitled”
A Circus Book, “A Living Artist”

2012 Boston Review, “All One Has Before One”
The Office of Recuperative Studies, “Breaking Broken Gestures” Ragazine, “The Nature of It,” “Contents”
Thethepoetryblog.org, “A” featured as “Poem of the Week”

2011 Post Road Magazine, “Morning,” “A Kind of Ductility” Supermachine, “Evening in Room,” “Albuquerque”

Art:

2016 Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, published by Columbia University Argos Calendar, “Menhirs Series II”

2014 Stonecutter Journal, Issue 4, “Menhirs Series I”
Senses Himself by Aaron Simon, published by Green Zone
The Great Grandmother Light: New and Selected Poems by Joe Weil, published by NQY Books

2013 The Itinerant Girl’s Guide to Self-Hypnosis by Joanna Penn Cooper, published by Brooklyn Arts Press

SELECT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS AND POETRY READINGS

2018 Judd Foundation,  In conversation with Jarrett Earnest and Anna Betbeze on color for 15 x 105 x 15, an exhibition of extruded aluminum works by Donald Judd, New York, NY

2017 Rachel Uffner Gallery, Reading for Molly Zuckerman-Hartung’s show “Learning Artist,” New York, NY
2015 Queens Museum, ROW / SEW: 3 Sundays for Robert Seydel, Reading of text alongside digital projection of poetry set to video, Queens, NY

2015 This Red Door, The Fuller Lecture Series, “On Kafka’s Ghost & the Spiral Jetty,” Performed lecture with slides on the topic of ghosts, language, and Robert Smithson’s spiral jetty, Hamburg, Germany

2014 NADA, Contemporary Poetry, curated by Sam Gordon, poetry reading, New York, NY

2014 Fire Island Frank O’Hara Poetry Festival, poetry reading, Fire Island, NY

2013 AWP at the Editorial Institute, Boston University, Reading for Maggy Poetry Journal, Boston, MA

2012 The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, Launch for Bridge Journal, New York, NY

2012 Thierry-Goldberg Projects Gallery, Millay Colony Office for Recuperative Strategies workshop reading, performance of collaborative text, New York, NY

2011 PS 122, This Red Door presents: Six Non-Lectures, Performance of text with projection of images, alongside readings by Eileen Myles, Adam Fitzgerald, Joe Weil, and Roger Van Voorhees, curated by Christopher Stackhouse, Jomar Statkun, and Jared Friedman, New York, NY

2010 New York University, Lillian Vernon House, Maggy Poetry Journal Launch, NY 2010 Gowanus Studio Space, Remember Me F rom How I W as T onight: An Evening of
Performance, Reading of collaborative text with Paul Legault, Brooklyn, NY
2010 Thierry Goldberg Projects Gallery, Suspensions, A night of performance and poetry

with Bianca Stone, New York, NY PRESS

2017 Lithub, Our Favorite Poetry Collections of 2017
2017 Yellow Rabbits, Reviewing Four Short UDP Titles
2014 Micro-Review: On Simone Kearney’s Middlemarch, by Adam Fitzgerald, The American Reader

INTERVIEWS

2016 “Simone Kearney: Poet of the Week.” Interview by Jason Koo, Poetry Foundation

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Parsons New School For Design, New York, NY, Adjunct Faculty
2018 AMT Interdisciplinary Elective, “The Nay-Sayers”
Multidisciplinary thematically-driven course in which students generate multiple visual artworks or performances alongside creative texts. Course taught in collaboration with poet Emily Skillings.

2017/18 Integrative Studio II: Visual Culture
In this studio art course, taught in collaboration with a seminar course, ideas are researched and developed through the lens of the theme “Visual Culture,” thus exposing students to the multiple ways in which a topic can be researched while introducing them to some fundamental research approaches and concepts in the field or fields associated with the inflection. The course emphasizes an introduction to research through, for, and of design and art. Working in studio, students will use digital tools, online platforms, studio- based research (such as materials investigations, prototype testing, peer critique, etc.), and fieldwork to set a question, investigate it through multiple means, and make a project that addresses their findings over the course of the semester.

2017 Integrative Studio I: Shift
In this studio course, students explore a range of visual, analytical, and making skills while working on projects that that draw upon collaboration and cross- disciplinary investigation. The focus of this course is not only on the “how” of making things, but also the “why.” How is it that we make sense of our ideas, the information we collect, and our hunches and theories? And what can this inquiry tell us about why we make decisions as creative thinkers? Students work in teams on projects that encourage exploration through research and prototyping, and are expected to integrate learning from other first year courses and experiences into their work.

2017/18 Integrative Seminar I: Memory
This creative writing course, taught in collaboration with a studio course, focuses on the theme of memory. At various times in the semester, the two classes share ideas, concepts and assignments through shared “bridge” projects. Bridge projects and assignments prompt students to think about ideas through writing (in seminar) and making (in studio) both separately and together. In this way, it will bring together reading, writing and making in a manner that is essential to the creative work of artists and designers in every discipline.

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, Adjunct Faculty
2017/18 Introduction to Multimedia Composition
What is home? Is it a place of belonging, of safety, of refuge? Must it be something that we call ours, that we identify with? Or can home be a dwelling in bewilderment? What happens when we don’t feel at home, when we don’t belong? In this class,  we will develop work that documents the shapes and contours of our intimate dwellings and the stories of those who inhabit them. Through videos, podcasts, and graphic illustrations, students will develop narratives around questions of home and estrangement, investigating how each specific digital media employed can serve as a unique lens to view both feeling at home and feeling estranged.

2018 Digital Storytelling
In this class, students will use film as a storytelling platform, using the themes of memory and myth as a lens for investigation. Through a series of exercises related to the course theme, students will learn how the camera and editing construct a unique cinematic language. Students work hands-on with editing software and digital cameras provided by the Writers House program. The course begins by deconstructing methods of storytelling through digital filmmaking, and practicing techniques for telling visual stories through in-class and take-home exercises. Over the course of the semester, students will be assigned a series of projects in which they will write and craft scripts; and explore shooting those scripts, using the camera, editing shots, and directing the final production. By the end of the semester, students gain two technical abilities: writing fiction for film, and directing cinematic fiction works. The course focuses on the director’s role as storyteller, and the ways film can uniquely convey ideas through cinematic language.

ArtShack Brooklyn Ceramics, Brooklyn, NY, Ceramics Instructor
2017 Adult and children wheel-throwing and hand-building workshops.

Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ, Adjunct Faculty
2012-17 Critical Reading and Writing 102
Students learn how to apply a range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, and evaluate texts; pose problems related to texts; develop critical writing skills.

Brooklyn Poets, Brooklyn, NY, Creative Writing Instructor
2016-17 5-week interdisciplinary workshops co-taught with poet Emily Skillings.

Maryland Institute College of Arts, Baltimore, MD, Graduate Teaching Assistant
2016 Painting II
Assisted students in developing painting skills. Participated in and helped lead critiques. Managed moodle content system for the class. Helped to develop select assignments.

2016 Studio Drawing: Composition
Helped lead weekly and final critiques.

2015 Historic Papermaking and Book Structure
Led discussions on assigned weekly readings on the history of bookbinding and papermaking.
Helped facilitate demos. Assisted students with their bookbinding projects.

2015 Survey of Monoprint
Helped lead weekly critiques and final critiques. Assisted in presenting demos.

2015 Modernism & After
Devised and presented lecture on subject of Dadaism in art and literature. Organized student files. Collaborated in grading process.

2014 Elements of Visual Thinking I & II
Helped the teacher in creating an environment for investigating concepts and principles of visual organization, color and design. Helped lead critiques on all assignments. Advised students.

2014 Trauma
Devised and presented lecture on subject of abjection. Collaborated in grading process.

Pace University, New York, NY, Adjunct Faculty
2010-17 English 201, Writing in the Disciplines
Upper-level writing course that focused on developing critical writing and research skills in the fields of poetry, literature, film, and philosophy.

2010-17 English 120: Critical Writing
Course emphasized the development of argument and analysis; advancement of research skills; synthesis of primary and secondary sources into their own essays.

2012-13 English 101: Composition
Introductory composition course emphasized critical reading, writing, and thinking skills.

The Cathedral School, New York, NY, Part-time Faculty
2010-11 Taught French to 5th-8th graders; Creative Writing workshops with 4th graders; poetry judge for annual poetry contest.

OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2015 Summer Assistant for Joan Waltemath at This Red Door in Hamburg, Germany Helped organize and co-ordinate events. Collaborated in performances. Facilitated communal meals.

2014 Certified Online Teaching Instructor, Completion of Teaching, Effectively Online Seminar
Pace University, New York, NY

2011-13 Intern and Writer for Thierry-Goldberg Projects Gallery New York, NY
Writing press releases for exhibitions. Researching and occasional studio visits.

2012 Sound editor for Christian Hawkey
Professor of Humanities & Media Studies, Pratt University, Brooklyn, NY
Compiled and edited Christian Hawkey’s sound project for the event How to Continue Ashbery Across the Arts at the New School University.

2012 Introduced poets Anne Carson and Leanne O’Sullivan Irish Poetry Festival, Irish Arts Center, New York, NY

2012 Editor for Uljana Woolf German writer and translator
Assisted in editing translations from German to English for the book “Re-print: appropriation & literature,” Edited by Annette Gilbert. Luxbooks, Wiesbaden, 2012.

2011 Norman Mailer Center Poetry Fellowship Vetting Committee
Reading and selecting applications for poetry fellowship.

2009-10 Assistant for Mark Strand
Former United States poet laureate/Prof. of literature and writing at Columbia University, New York, NY
Organized files. Composed emails. Performed research on poetry and art.

2008-09 Intern for Olaf Breuning Artist, New York, New York
Aided in the construction of sculptures and artworks. Art handler.

2008-10 Assistant and Editor for Grace Schulman
Prof. of literature and writing at Baruch College, New York NY
Helped edit book of essays, “First Loves & Other Adventures,” published by University of Michigan Press, 2010. Organized files and documents.

2008-09 Assistant for Peter W. Lyden
President of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art/Chief Philanthropy Officer of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
Edited poetry and researched possible venues for publication.

2008 Co-director/co-founder The Well Workshop, Summer Intensive Writing Workshop
Partner: Adam Fitzgerald; West Cork, Ireland
Workshop was led by Fanny Howe, Prof. of Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego. Organized and facilitated daily workshops for eight days.

2006-08 Sales Associate at The Globe Corner Bookstore
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Organized, arranged and catalogued merchandise. Aided and facilitated bookstore events.