Cylena Simonds is an independent curator working with the politics of representation and the representation of politics within contemporary art. From 2004-2008 she was Exhibitions Curator at Iniva, heading their on-site and touring programme as well as off-site public art projects. Her final show, States of Exchange, was the first exhibition of Cuban contemporary art to be shown in the UK since 1997.
In July 2008 she co-founded Butcher’s, a roving alternative space for presenting contemporary art projects. In 2009 she will be the first Curator in Residence at the newly founded David Roberts Art Foundation in London.
Working with emerging as well as mid-career artists, she has developed new commissions with Laylah Ali, Meschac Gaba, and Idris Khan in addition to presenting several premieres of work never before shown in the UK.
Prior to working at Iniva, she was a lecturer in the Visual Cultures Dept. at Goldsmiths and the Social History of Art Dept. at Universtity of Leeds. She writes for a variety of publications on moving image artworks, international conditions of contemporary art practice, and the representation strategies of cultural difference.
Simonds has a BFA in Film and Photography from the School of Arts Institute of Chicago, a MA in the Social History of Art from Leeds University, and was a curatorial fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program.