Fishin’ Jimmy (1990) is from Laurie Simmons’ photographic series ‘Walking and Lying Objects.’ The series began in 1987, when she photographed Jimmy the Camera: her friend and mentor Jimmy de Sana, who was dying of AIDS, dressed up in a giant camera costume as a playfully fond farewell. The idea for the legged object came from television commercials Simmons had seen as a child, with cigarette packets dancing across the screen. Her ensuing series of animated items – including guns, clocks, perfume bottles and books – play out the themes of the uncanny, artifice, and constructed identity that pervade her work and have made her, alongside Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger, one of the most consistently intriguing practitioners of the Pictures Generation. She began to photograph dolls posed in evocative film-noir vignettes in 1975, and has worked extensively with dolls, puppets and ventriloquists’ dummies since: her acclaimed recent series ‘The Love Doll: Days 1-30’ (2009-2011) saw her documenting an eerily human high-end Japanese sex doll gradually becoming accustomed to its surroundings in her home. Fishin’ Jimmy presents a ‘lying object’: the titular book, a mawkish 1899 tale by Annie Trumbull Slosson, appears to have collapsed in exhaustion, plastic legs protruding absurdly from between its splayed covers. The title pays affectionately humorous tribute to de Sana, who passed away that year – ‘gone fishing’, and never to return. Contemplating the sentimental value we attach to domestic objects, anthropomorphic forms and constructed narratives, Simmons brings the sublime and ridiculous together in a wistful, poignant and darkly funny scenario.