In …lines… Doni Silver Simons transforms rudimentary hash marks- a familiar sign inherited by Western culture used to indicate duration- into the narrative of her highly ritualized art practice. A self-proclaimed mark maker Simons communicates linguistics and imagery through her marks by appropriating the size and technique with which she executes them. Some are bold strokes of a paintbrush that occupy an entire canvas; while others are small lines run that off into an infinite space. Whether they’re created from a self-inking pen, paint brush, or indicated by terry cloth rags drenched in years of paint, Simons follows a strict mark making practice. Each repeats four times following the same motion beginning from top to bottom. After four lines are created they are covered by a diagonal line.
…lines… reminds viewers of Simon’s willingness to endure duration with her art. By living with her work she shares in the experience of its creation and claims her place in time. Many of Simons’ past works like Center Justified: The Journal required that she write entries in her journal every day for one year using the same self-ink pens until they ran out of ink. The fading of the ink is visual manifestation of the way a memory recedes in our conscience. Similar to Center Justified the most recent undertaking in …lines… extends across a 23 foot wall, covered in 365 individual canvases each measuring 8’’ x 6.” The project demanded that Simons create a new canvas nearly every day and when standing before the giant gallery way, one can’t help but find comfort in the excruciating repetition.
The aged effect of the Antiquities series changes the mark from a sign of Western culture to a referent of Semitic language. Simons who is left hand-handed writes from right to left so as not to smear the ink of the marks previously written. Her practice is aligned with Judaism as the Torah scrolls are also written and read from right to left. No matter how the mark is presented the works all express a preoccupation with memory, which isn’t old or new. It has just always been.