jimmie durham, maria thereza alves in the middle earth
In Spring of 2018, the IAC in Villeurbanne will hand the totality of its space over to artists Maria Thereza Alves and Jimmie Durham for their project devoted to the Mediterranean, called The Middle Earth.
This new and original collaboration comes from the artists’ desire to explore together the territory where they live, in a poetic and critical fashion.
After a period in Marseille, followed by Rome and then Naples where they regularly travel, Alves and Durham settled on the coast of the “inland sea” following a continuous and committed period of roaming that led them away from the American continent and all the way to Europe. In a similar vein to Jimmie Durham’s Project Eurasien, begun in 1994 just after his departure from America, and the project Seeds of Change that Maria Thereza Alves began in the port of Marseille in 1999, the idea of The Middle Earth began to form little by little, in search of that vast continent, not at all defined by nations, but rather something that is completely imagined and dreamed, and thus, endless.
Playing with universalist models, Alves and Durham’s dialogue hijacks the apparent objectivity of classification in order to deploy an active dialogue between recent artworks and archeological and ethnological objects in each category, with writing that places itself somewhere between the poetic and the scientific.