Prima Materia is an exhibition of works on paper, crystallized tumbleweeds, and photographic source material that explores the artist's understanding of natural hot springs as liberatory zones.
The exhibition, curated my Mixed Use at Minnesota Street Projects in 2017, also featured a lecture in which the artist discussed natural hot springs as contingent spaces where social norms are suspended, catalyzing intimacy and communion. After years of seeking out natural hot springs in the American West, Sims identifies these spaces as subversive microcosms that comprise a delicate membrane between the geologic underworld and our own. To enter these pools is to subvert the traditional phenomenology of the human form: to trade standing for submersion, surveillance for a ground-eye view. A visitor to the springs is encouraged to embrace self-effacement while forging moments of solidarity within an otherwise atomized society.
The exhibition's works on paper feature highly articulated drawings of earth, water and stone dissolving within the abstraction of uncontrolled media such as watercolor and ink. These forms mutate beyond the constraints of identity, suggesting the elusive power of ephemerality, volatility, and convergence.