Simonsen’s current work reflects an ongoing interest in the spectacle. Amusement parks, circuses, carnivals, festivals, and roadside attractions often involve temporary structures, and become utopian (or dystopian) "temporary autonomous zones" that create a sense of pageantry for the public. These zones are often self-sufficient and offer recreation and celebration, if nomadic and perhaps fleeting. Menageries, deer parks, and zoos suggest a similar construct that is somewhat artificial, as they are often created as domesticated “pleasure parks,” and become a way for humans to idealize nature. In the decentralized, rootless zones portrayed in Simonsen’s imagined pleasure parks, one wonders: has the carnival ended, or is it yet to begin? Is this a failed event, a failed community? Have the animals escaped, or are they still in captivity? Sparse, uninhabited, and often futuristic landscapes host itinerant creatures. Are they involved or indifferent? This ambiguity creates a sort of driftless region in the works, an in-between space, in which the unexpected can occur.
MFA University of Chicago
MA University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA University of Wisconsin-Madison
Certificate (Painting) Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia (STSI), Bali, Indonesia
Ox-bow School of Art (SAIC)
ART 101 (Introduction to Art)
ART 225 (Painting/Water Based Media)