Xxavier Carter is a transdisciplinary artist whose work is composed of multi-sensorial and layered circumstances encountered by the artist, presented through videos, installations, performances, and various forms of collage. His ecologically centered works are often heavily linked to the material history of currency in how it relates to the histories of marginalized people. He views his work as a continuation of the survival and storytelling practices of the Black and Native American cultures of his heritage. Personal interactions, media bombardment, observed & lived experiences, and material excess/waste influence his work towards a complex revolutionary promise.
In his collage series, “Sisyphus & The Myth of the New World”, Carter told the story of his experience performing his art piece, Sisyphus. The live performance of this work (a reinterpretation of the Sisyphus myth), which had been accepted into, approved by, and was being performed at a premiere arts event, was interrupted by police officers who claimed it presented a threat (though they were unable to clarify how and to whom). Although this collage series was originally meant as a companion piece to Sisyphus, it instead shifted focus to become a narrative of this particular live performance itself, relating the officers’ overreaction and ensuing escalation to the mythology of Sisyphus and Carter himself. He describes this body of work as:
“a series of collages based around my performance Sisyphus and the Myth of the New World. What I want to draw out of this performance and bring into the collages is the mythologizing of my political self (the self that exists outside of time in a way and is very much a historical being) in process with past, futures, and presents. By superimposing my performing body into the landscape I try to compose an image that illustrates the themes central to my work, research, and the possible reconciliations.”
Stories of origins, the afterlife, superhuman beings, and of love and tragedy are the most compelling for him. Carter creates work dealing with what these stories mean in an often violent and oppressive context and the power they have toward influencing revolutionary momentum.