Jimmie Durham (b. 1940) is an internationally acclaimed artist, writer and poet of Cherokee descent. His intricate sculptures and installations mimic the attributes of human beings and animals, and the ways they make or are made into history. Durham collages discarded objects and fragments of organic matter, transforming them with dazzling colour into startling, anthropomorphic configurations. His ersatz ethnographic displays deliver ironic assaults on the colonizing procedures of Western culture. An activist in the American Indian movement during the 1970s, he has also published poetry, fiction and critical theory. Featured at Documenta 9 (1992), his work has also been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.
The Survey by British film and art critic Laura Mulvey, author of 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema' and other influential essays, explores themes of history and language, space and time in Durham's work. Belgian curator Dirk Snauwaert talks with the artist about his multi-faceted practice. In the Focus, Mark Alice Durant, US performance artist and writer, analyses Durham's diary of Shakespeare's Caliban. For Artist's Choice, Durham has selected texts by Italo Calvino about the loss of speach and the poetry of the invisible. Artist's Writings include essays, poems and a screenplay published here for the first time.
Laura Mulvey is a filmmaker and film theorist. She is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London, and author of Visual and Other Pleasures and Death 24 x a Second. Dirk Snauwaert is Artistic Director of Wiel in Brussels and was Curator of the Kunstverein in Munich, the IAC at Villeurbanne in France and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, where he co-curated Jimmie Durham's first restrospective in 1993. Mark Alice Durant is an artist and author whose writings on photography, activist art and cultural resistance have appeared in such art journals as Art in America and Artscribe. He currently teaches at the University of Maryland in College Park and at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.