Though American constituents have varying opinions on immigration today, it’s unarguably the foundation of our country. Whether you can trace back your ancestry to Ellis Island; are a first generation immigrant; or know a grandfather down the line that came over on the Mayflower, we are a country of immigrants.
The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center examines contemporary immigration through an artistic lens. Un-drawn presents the work of four photographers—J Carrier, Richard Mosse, Xavier Simmons, and David Taylor. Each artist examines immigration differently, from the transportation to a new home to the boundaries established between countries.
Superunknown (Alive in The) is the collection of photographs that make up Simmons’ contribution to the show. “I believe most people from the Americas have ancestors who not that many decades ago migrated via one form of ‘transportation’ or the other and we still to this day have migrants coming to and fro both legally and illegally via a multitude of sources,” says Simmons. “What I am most interested in are the in between spaces... especially as they relate to narrative and index.” Simmons’ photographs capture crowded boats and the ocean—the no-man’s land between countries.