Jimmie Durham creates in an array of mediums including video which he uses to document his performances. On the occasion of Jimmie Durham's Pioneers OVR we are sharing a selection of his video performances.
"St. Frigo" is a sculpture Durham made in 1996 while doing an artist residency in France. By throwing stones at an old refrigerator every morning for ten days in the courtyard of Le Collège Gallery in Reims, Durham physically transformed the appliance from what he described as a “neutral” everyday object into a valuable and unique sculpture, saving it from the rubbish bin. Durham made an experimental video of this ritual titled "Stoning the Refrigerator". Later commenting that the refrigerator had been “brave,” Durham decided to call the sculpture St. Frigo, as if it were a martyred saint.
In 1998 contemporary artists Jimmie Durham and Maria Thereza Alves make an experimental twist on the western mythical celebration of Christmas.
"La Poursuite du Bonheur" is an experimental film by Jimmie Durham (2002) that shows a young man's process on his pursuit of happiness from the creation of an artistic garbage piece to the sale of it.
For this experimental film Jimmie Durham, sits behind a desk like a bureaucrat performing his duty wearing a suit: smashing things. This video-performance was part of Durham’s teaching residency at Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Como, Italy, in 2004.
"Fleur des Pas Mal" (2005) is the action filmed in slow motion of a large stone falling into a container full of paint. A Proposal for a New International Genuflexion in Promotion of World Peace (2007) is instead a hymn to peace which Jimmie Durham mimes as the protagonist in a silent film.
Durham and artist Maria Thereza Alves invite friends to create a symphonic homage to Grunewald Park in 2006, where they had their joint studio. Various materials become instruments and the movements are divided into the wood instrument section, a metal instrument section and whistles along with the cacophony of dogs, bird and an airplane flying overhead.
"A Telephone Call" (2006) shows the artist in a chair. He makes two calls in which anger and concern, thoughtfulness and laughter, alternate. The spell cast by watching is so intense — due, at least in part, to the pull of one’s own voyeurism — that the fact that the ‘cordless’ telephone is actually an old handset without a cable, and thus unconnected, goes strangely unnoticed.
"A Proposal for a New International Genuflexion in Promotion of World Peace" (2007) is a performance in which the artist plays the part of the leading actor in a silent movie. It is a reverential gesture, a mimed genuflection with a kiss and a bow, inviting us to imagine a new gesture to promote world peace, beyond all forms of ethnic geography.