jimmie durham - at the center of the world
Jimmie Durham is one of the most compelling, inventive and multifaceted artists working today. A political organizer for the American Indian Movement during the 1970s, he was an active participant in New York City's downtown artistic community in the 1980s. In 1987, Durham moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico and then to Europe in 1994, where he has lived ever since. Predominantly a sculptor, Durham frequently combines everyday objects and natural materials and incorporates text to expose Western-centric views and prejudices hidden in language, objects and institutions. Calling himself an "interventionist," Durham is often critical in his analysis of society, but with a distinctive wit that is simultaneously generous and humorous.
The first North American retrospective exhibition of Durham's work, At the Center of the World traces his remarkable attentiveness to materials and characteristic approach to assemblage while demonstrating his commitment to shedding light on the complexities of historical narratives, notions of authenticity and the borders and boundaries that try to contain us. For Durham, a rock, a piece of driftwood, a dirty shirt, a car bumper, a heap of trash or a moose skull found in a dumpster are all equally fertile objects to be incorporated into his work. With close to 175 objects dating from 1970 to the present and accompanied by a comprehensive monograph, the exhibition outlines how Durham's insatiable curiosity and adeptness with materials have led to an expansive practice—spanning sculpture, drawing, collage, printmaking, painting, photography, video, performance and poetry.