Jimmie Durham


This catalogue is conceived as part monograph and part artist book that brings together visual material consisting of installation images of Durham’s works together with key essays approaching his practice from various dimensions.

Various Items and Complaints is a major survey show at the Serpentine Gallery which highlights Durham’s multi-dimensional practice, including sculpture, drawing and film. Alongside new sculptures and key installations, the exhibition also features a group of early works that have never been exhibited in the UK.

Durham’s work explores the relationship between forms and concepts. He combines words within his sculptures and drawings to conjure images and uses images to convey ideas. His sculptural constructions are often combined with disparate elements, such as written messages, photographs, words, drawings and objects.

The core of Durham’s work is his ability to explore the intrinsic qualities of the materials he uses,  at times fused with the agility of wordplay and, above all, irony.

His work addresses the political and cultural forces, e.g. the forces of colonialism that constructs our contemporary discourses and challenges our understanding of authenticity in art.

Since Durham moved to Europe in the early 1990s, his works often, but not exclusively, challenge the idea of architecture, monumental works and narration of national identities by deconstructing those stereotypes and prejudices on which the Western culture is based.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Jimmie Durham: Various Items and Complaints at Serpentine Gallery, London, 1 October – 8 November 2015.

Jimmie Durham - Various Items and Compliments
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