Jimmie Durham came to Glasgow for three months at the beginning of 2010. In this city, new to him, he took up residence among 55 other artists at the Glasgow Sculpture Studios and was invited to createan exhibition. In that short time, not only did Durham share his work in the formal setting of gallery and lecture theatre, but he also became known and respected among these new colleagues and friends,trading thoughts and stories with them, from his nearly half century’s experience of life as sculptor, writer, political activist, storyteller.
Revolving around the energy of chance in these encounters, the resulting work contains strands of historical and personal connection, which in today’s globally-informed world, invests in the idea that each person can make up their own minds to know more. Through sculptures formed from Glasgow found objects rearranged, drawings, photographs, archival material and poems, his work invites further links and questions from us all. By addingthis MAP commission to his Glasgow experience, Durham further expands this outreach.
Born in the US, having studied in Geneva and been involved in organisations concerned with the rights of American Indians, Durham moved away from the United States permanently in 1987, first to Mexico and then to Europe where he is still based. His practice thrives on engagement with new geographies, stones, society and its histories. This year he has already made site-specific work in Spain and Scotland and as we publish, is preparing for a show in Berlin. To be on the move, collecting, making and meeting, showing and telling, Durham has a charismatic, at times, humourous, delivery. Intimate and welcoming, bothat a distance, and close-up, Durham and his work retain a sharp, indefatigable ability to communicate something universal, entirely without pretension.
Universal Miniature Golf (The Promised Land), Glasgow Sculpture Studios, 17 April-4 September. Jimmie Durham solo show, Barbara Wien Galerie, Berlin, 30 April–23 June