The Vitrine of Childish Pleasures
mixed media (shells, seeds, wood, plastic and metal), display case
85 × 75 × 25 cm
Inv. No. 0129
Jimmie Durham emphasizes the necrophilic aspect of museums, something comparable to Picabia's statement that museums are cemeteries. The anthropologist Michael Taussig picks up on Durham's remark, and asks if that is the end of the conversation, or the beginning of one.
When I asked him about his own beginnings, Durham answered: “I don't know how it started, except I never had any real education. So I never knew that I should specialise. It was a form of ignorance, going along and looking at anything that seems interesting… Yes. So I knew that I liked my objects, and I knew that I liked working with materials, and the social idea of material at the same time”.
Durham's work addresses the immediate future of the object and the immediate past of language.
In his own words: “A philosopher friend of mine here in Paris said that philosophy is just curiosity. And I might say the same about life tomorrow. I think maybe identity belongs in the museum as an object that is dead enough that we can put it under glass and preserve it. When one is really being oneself, that's the moment when your identity is most absent.”
Hans Ulrich Obrist, 2005 (translation: Tim Sharp)Continue reading
Sigmund Freud und das Spiel mit der Bürde der Repäsentation. Eine Installation von Joseph Kosuth, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, 2014
Jimmie Durham. A Matter of Life and Death and Singing, Museum of contemporary Art Antwerpen, Antwerp, 2012
Über Dinge, Kunsthaus Muerz, Mürzzuschlag, 2011
Nach Rokytník. The collection of EVN, MUMOK, Vienna, 2005
From the West Pazific to the East Atlantic, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Den Haag, 2003
Träume von Räumen, Kinderkunstlabor, St. Pölten
Jimmie Durham. A Matter of Life and Death and Singing, Zurich 2012, p. Chapter 1. Nr. 26
Über Dinge [published on the occasion of the exhibition “Über Dinge”, Kunsthaus muerz, 22.5. – 4.9.2011], Mürzzuschlag 2011, p. 10