Public Sex Series 1995-1998

  • The Park, 1995

    The Park, 1995

    Serigraph on 6 felt panels with 2 felt text panels - Overall: 68 x 80 in (172.7 x 203.2 cm) "The Park reorients the point of view of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954). The narrator of one text panel talks about using a telescope to spy from the windows of a high-rise on the nearby buildings and park, while the other speaks of a character in many guises (sociologist, voyeur, sting operator) observing private acts in a men's room." -Joan Simon

  • The Park, 1995 (text detail)

    The Park, 1995 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: Just unpacked a new shiny silver telescope. And we are up high enough for a really good view of all the buildings and the park. The living room window seems to be the best spot for it. On the sidewalk below a man watches figures from across the path.

  • The Park, 1995 (text detail)

    The Park, 1995 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: It is early evening, the lone sociologist walks through the park, to observe private acts in the men's public bathrooms. These facilities are men's and women's rooms back to back. He focuses on the layout of the men's room -right to left: basin, urinal, urinal, urinal, stall, stall. He decides to adopt the role of voyeur and look out in order to go unnoticed and noticed at the same time. His research take several years. He names his subjects A, B, C, X, Y, and O, records their activities for now, and their license plates when applicable for later.

  • The Fire Escape, 1995

    The Fire Escape, 1995

    Serigraph on 6 felt panels with 1 felt text panel - Overall: 68 x 75 in (172.7 x 190.5 cm)

  • The Fire Escape, 1995 (text detail)

    The Fire Escape, 1995 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: "... and then, they ended up withimpressions on theirskin in the shape of stripes."

  • The Bed, 1995

    The Bed, 1995

    Serigraph on 4 felt panels with 1 felt text panel - Overall: 72 x 45 in (182.9 x 114.3 cm)

  • The Bed, 1995 (text detail)

    The Bed, 1995 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: It is late, decided to have a quick nightcap at the hotel having checked in earlier that morning. Hotel security is curious and knocks on the door to inquire as to what's going on, given our surroundings we suspect that maybe we have broken "the too many dark people in the room code." More privacy is attained depending on what floor you are on, if you are in the penthouse suite you could be pretty much assured of your privacy, if you were on the 6th or 10th floor there would be a knock on the door.

  • The Clocktower, 1995

    The Clocktower, 1995

    Serigraph on 12 felt panels with 1 felt text panel - Overall: 100 1/2 x 90 in (255.3 x 228.6 cm)

  • The Clocktower, 1995 (text detail)

    The Clocktower, 1995 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: He can hear sighs and conversations of people collecting in the hall waiting for elevators, heading out of the building, the telephone rings."Good, I hoped that you were still here." "Yeah, well I thought that it might be you." "Where do you want to meet?" "Well, they are still under construction on the 15th floor and the union guys are out of there by now and I think they have finished a few of the offices with good views. Wait a second... I don't hear the muffled power tools. Want to go there?" "Sure, I have not been down there as yet." "What about the rooftop conference room? Was there anything scheduled there today?" "I don't think so, but we will have to take the stairs to get up there...the west staircase is always an option a little later if you still have work to do." "Naw, I'm almost finished." "What time do you have?" "8:20.""I'll meet you in the hall at a quarter to." "Okay." "Bye."

  • The Rock, 1995

    The Rock, 1995

    Serigraph on 12 felt panels with 2 felt text panels - Overall: 100 1/2 x 94 in (255.3 x 238.8 cm)

  • The Rock, 1995 (text detail)

    The Rock, 1995 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: Female Trouble: Divine has just left home after an argument over a Christmas gift, and storms out of the hosue. She is picked up on the highway by an auto-mechanic (played by Divine). They approach a wooden area and have frantic sex on a mattress, by the side of the road.

  • The Rock, 1995 (text detail)

    The Rock, 1995 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: Driving all day long, has induced a hypnotic state upon both of us. It is definitely time to pull over. I recognize the state park that we are now in the middle of, and can endure a few more minutes of this drive in order to find the same spot I went to last time I was here. Hoping that this search will not turn into another journey, since I didn't make any mental notes of the surroundings during my last visit, I'm ill prepared, and not really wanting to appear too familiar with the area. I make an effort this time to commit this trip to memory. But here we are, sick of driving. We get out of the car and start to hike to find a spot and it will probably replace the last one, completely. Haven't seen any weekend hikers for a while and since we are miles away from any rest stops it seems plausible that we will not be patrolled. I asked, "How's this?" "Is it secluded enough for you?"

  • The Car, 1995

    The Car, 1995

    Serigraph on 12 felt panels with 1 felt text panel - Overall: 102 x 104 in (259 x 264.1 cm)

  • The Car, 1995 (text detail)

    The Car, 1995 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: I could hear the voices of a couple arguing in the distance. It sounds as though they have entered the arcade, but only their voices have entered, and linger for a while even after they have passed the opening and continue on their way. The intensity of their voices indicates an argument, but I am not really concentrating on them completely. It seems as though even if they had walked through they would not have noticed the presence of anyone, let alone anyone having sex. It is around noon time, other than that and you can hear a pin drop in this echo chamber. An open car door, the perfect hour, perfect opportunity. We get into the car, which becomes a small cramped room within a larger room.

  • Still, 1997

    Still, 1997

    Serigraph on 36 felt panels - Overall: 120 x 216 in (304.8 x 548.6 cm), "... Still presents itself as a nostalgic reference to the majesty of nineteenth-century American landscape painting and photography as epitomized in the work of Frederick Church or William Henry Jackson. Interrupting this bucolic serenity, however, is the printed text that draws the viewer right up to the work's surface. Almost before one realizes it, one's role of surveillance is made physically apparent by moving this distance from outside the pictorial space up to its surface. The viewer has intruded, undetected, into the site of these implied narratives. While giving little access to the details of this realm, Simpson does what she has done so well in her past work, which is to thrust the viewer into the role of the voyeur, thus underscoring one's relationship to the content of the work." -Sarah J. Rogers

  • Still, 1997

    Still, 1997

  • Still, 1997 (detail)

    Still, 1997 (detail)

  • Still, 1997 (detail)

    Still, 1997 (detail)

  • Haze, 1998

    Haze, 1998

    Serigraph on 6 felt panels with 2 felt text panels - Overall: 68 x 69 in (172.7 x 175.3 cm)

  • Haze, 1998 (text detail)

    Haze, 1998 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL:"No, it's the one to the left of that." "Oh, yeah. I see the one you mean." "That's it, now go from the triangular roof over to the right." "Uh huh..." "Well now do you see them?" "No, I don't see what you're talking about." "Well they are right there." "To the left or to the right of that building?" "Well, it's to the right - kinda on a diagonal... now do you see what I'm talking about?" "No, I don't." "Well you are looking in the right direction... wait they just got up and went inside - you missed it."

  • Haze, 1998 (text detail)

    Haze, 1998 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: "Okay, one more time, look down the widest street - you got that... right - count 1-2-3-4 rooftops - then look across to your right, past the big railing of connecting balconies, and look for the tangle of antennas, across from the triangle roof - do you see that?" "No." "Okay, do you see the triangular roof?" "No...oh, yeah now I do. It's got a little rooftop apartment on it?"

  • Parts, 1998

    Parts, 1998

    Serigraph on 12 felt panels with 1 felt text panel - Overall: 102 x 100 in (259.1 x 254 cm)

  • Parts, 1998 (text detail)

    Parts, 1998 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: As they reached the Bronze period-the second to last room, they observed that all the visitors had securely fastened their headsets and moved from object to object, completely oblivious to any ambient sound. Their gaze and pace was guided by the tapes. There was the possibility that no one would notice except maybe the guards, but they did not wander far from the large groups with headsets. Generally, museum-goers feel it is more efficient to work their way from the top down. In the past, staircases were the ideal location; the landing just above the exit door to the top floor of the exhibition space worked well, and if people could hear you they would maybe stop and listen, but would not venture to look. Therefore, hardly anyone went beyond this point to the next landing, and staff rarely used the public staircase. Unfortunately, this institution did not have that vertical expanse.

  • The Staircase, 1998

    The Staircase, 1998

    Serigraph on 6 felt panels with 1 felt text panel - Overall: 66 x 66 in (167.6 x 167.6 cm)

  • The Staircase, 1998 (text detail)

    The Staircase, 1998 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: Her apartment was on the ground floor, which meant she was in earshot of footsteps and conversations. As the climbers or climber reached the 10th step, there was a break in the rhythm of the climbing, because its riser was slightly lower than the rest. From her apartment it sounded as though they had tripped, especially those who were unfamiliar with this inconsistency. She could hear the warnings offered by tenants as they guided their guests to their floor; particularly when they were assisted in carrying something; the apologies when they had forgotten to mention it in time; or the conversations that took place in midstream, that indicated the level of familiarity between climbers. There were some other sounds, not too long ago that seemed to be coming from the landing below. They were faint and unrecognizable. It did not sound like talking, but more like the rhythmic lifting of a heavy object.

  • Theater Seats, 1998

    Theater Seats, 1998

    Diptych serigraph on 18 felt panels - Overall: 78 x 99 in (198.1 x 251.5 cm)

  • The Bathroom, 1998

    The Bathroom, 1998

    Serigraph on 4 felt panels with 1 felt text panel - Overall: 52 1/2 x 52 1/2 in (133.4 x 133.4 cm)

  • The Bathroom, 1998 (text detail)

    The Bathroom, 1998 (text detail)

    TEXT PANEL: There were five stalls, in the second stall there were three legs.

portfolio