Aiden Simon is a multidisciplinary artist who is interested in the negotiation of play and the disruption of stable subject positions. Aiden’s drawings, photographs, toys, and sculptures rock, flip, and swing, flirting with utility. Aiden received his BFA in Photography at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) 2009, and MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) 2013. Aiden lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Aiden’s practice examines the breakdown of places in which “human nature” are seen as fixed, stable sites. He probes the space of human/animal in order to look closely at the ways in which our ideas about what is non-human forecloses human behavior; limiting and policing margins in order to contain what can qualify as human. In his work, bodies are neither human nor toy, child, animal, or sculpture; they are not live, or objects, yet they oscillate somewhere in between all of these locations. He is interested in the space where boundaries become unfixed; in re-naming bodies in order to look at them through different lenses. In calling up logics of coding, reading, passing, and camp by naming the body as an other. In attending to gap spaces of misrecognition and disidentification through these tactical renamings. He uses the body to enact queer childhoods, animals, and children pretending to be animals, or toys that imitate animals, in order to intervene in the construction of self. The work does not produce an identity or fixed meaning but rather dislocates the relationship to a singular fixed reading. Through diagramming as an animal, or a child, a toy, or a combination of these things, he seeks not to become these things but to change a state. To change the function of an object and use it outside of its known use through renaming bodies as sculptures and googly eyes as nipples that stare back. Recently, his process has become one of allowing objects to become other objects. Within the same framework that a person can be a dog, or an adult a child; a rocking horse can become a swing. If nothing is limited to being a stable body, the transformations are limitless; everything maintains the ability to shape-shift. Through sideways movements and literal rocking, and transforming into other objects, the work increasingly refuses to maintain a stable position. He is interested in sideways growth, as opposed to growing ‘up.’ In considering the ways in which we are socialized to be productive bodies through consumption and regurgitation. He is interested in the refusal to be productive and reproductive- not only in terms of child bearing and rearing- but in regards to the passing down knowledge. In this space, the queer is a figure with a lot of power- a cultural terrorist who has the potential to rewrite social scripts.