Artist Jimmie Durham: Its elegance, you can not escape

The ease of Jimmie Durham's art, her distinguished wit and your all living and non-living beings inclusive universalism is best exemplified in a Museum display

Artist Jimmie Durham: Its elegance, you can not escape

The ease of Jimmie Durham's art, her distinguished wit and your all living and non-living beings inclusive universalism is best exemplified in a Museum display case, which contains nothing but the shards of your glass and the stone that smote it. "I asked myself," recalls Jimmie Durham, Cristian Manzuttos remarkable film portrait "Not About Me" by 2017, "what the Europeans have traditions in dealing with stones. When I saw the photos of the demonstrations in 1968 in Paris, I understood: they throw you.“

Kolja Reichert

editor in the Feuilleton section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in Berlin.

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As vandalism or actionist institutional critique, this work would be called "A stone from Metternich's house in Bohemia" (usually Durhams are laconic title to be taken literally) but incorrectly understood. Photos do not show how the then-56-year-old for an exhibition in the Vienna Wittgenstein house pfefferte the stone target, especially in the showcase, but from the hip with a swing and onto his path more dismissed than sent, as he wanted to leave it to the stone, to do his work according to the personal taste and own skills.

This distinction is crucial. Because whether it's the 1940's in a Cherokee settlement in Arkansas-born Jimmie Durham-painted with smiling faces, boulders on cranes in cars lowers; whether he designs mobile "triumphal arches for personal use"; whether or not he marked in various places the "center of the world" or in his much too little received (and translated) poems and Essays, running themselves into the word: he holds the European rationalism and its tendency to define centers, peripheries, and hierarchies, the mirror.

Never bitterly-accusing, always lovingly-mocking

Never the found games hard playing-accusing, always lovingly-mocking, only that he makes all, even stones, wood and the termites eating away this, play along. This is a Form of post-colonial criticism, the elegance you can not escape is difficult, because it strengthens the walls against which it beats, but simply passes through it goes. Durham shows the flying glass, from the Wittgenstein, the philosophy wanted to free from the outside. About the house, the the philosopher and his sister built, has Durham, drawn by the way, the unforgettable quip: "The house is gorgeous, each Detail is so controlled that it will be the impression of a Drunken power, of pretending to be sober."

The more bitter it is, if Durham pushes on the walls of whose rights he was the founder of the International Indian Treaty Council in the seventies in a grueling battle at the United Nations. Than three years ago for a retrospective of his from Los Angeles to Minneapolis, traveled, called him the Indian representative is a Scam, because he was not registered as a citizen of the "Cherokee Nation" and the "Indian Arts and Crafts Act" hurt, says since 1990, to all that call themselves falsely as the Indians, to sell art.

Durham, feels just any Nation belonging to and in addition to his Cherokee will always be Irish, and African heritage called, then explained the "New York Times", he was not a Cherokee artist, "so little was like Brâncuşi, a Romanian artist." Since 1995, Durham, winner of the Goslar Kaiser ring and the Golden lion in Venice for his life's work lives, with the artist Maria Thereza Alves between Berlin and Naples, where he is celebrating his eightieth birthday.

Updated Date: 10 July 2020, 13:19

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