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God's Children, God's Poems

Jimmie Durham - God\'s Children, God\'s Poems
Monograph documenting an eponymous project in which the American artist explores the relationship between humans and nature by means of a sculptural assemblage made out of the skulls of Europe's largest animal species.
Artist, performer, poet, essayist, and activist Jimmie Durham is one of the most influential voices of the contemporary art world. He explores the complex encounters between the human being, technology, and nature from different cultural perspectives. His oeuvre spans sculpture, drawing, collage, printmaking, painting, photography, video, performance, and poetry, demonstrating a remarkable attention to form and a specificity of material choices. Durham became internationally famous in the 1980s for his sculptures made from materials such as wood, stone, and the bones and skulls of animals, with which he frequently embodies the incorporation of Native American elements into contemporary art, thus breaking down standardized visual languages and discourses.
This publication accompanies his exhibition “God's Children, God's Poems” at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, which, as the artist explains, “gathers the skulls of the largest animals of Europe and brings them back into our world.” Featuring an introduction by Jimmie Durham, and with contributions by the curator and art historian of the Cree Indians Heritage Richard William W. Hill, and the Migros Museum Director Heike Munder, the book reflects Durham's examination of our relationship to animals. He states: “It does not matter if another type of animal is not like us in the areas of speech, reasoning, or such criteria, and everyone who has had a pet or friend animal of another species knows this. It is not anthropomorphic. It is anthropocentric to imagine that we are the standard, that we are angelic, unearthly, or 'higher' beings.”
Taking his reflection on mankind's anthropocentric viewpoint as a starting point, this volume contextualizes the exhibition within the larger body of Durham's artistic practice, which is a continuous examination of issues such as the representation of civilizing values, historicity, and social identity.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, from August 26 to November 5, 2017.
Jimmie Durham (1940-2021) is one of the most influential artists, not least for younger generations of artists and curators. Of his art he said that it “works against the two foundations of the European tradition: Belief and Architecture.” Sculpture, seen as the coming together of object, image, and word, was fundamental to his practice, but he was also a poet, essayist, and educator.
Durham's life as an artist began in the mid-1960s in Texas. In the early 1970s he worked in Geneva. In the late 1970s he was a political organizer with the American Indian Movement, Director of the International Indian Treaty Council and its representative to the United Nations. In New York around 1980 he turned once again to art. Between 1987 and 1994 he was based in Mexico, and thereafter in Europe, or, as he prefered to say, in Eurasia.
Edited by Heike Munder.
Texts by Jimmie Durham, Richard W. Hill, Heike Munder.
published in September 2017
bilingual edition (English / German)
20,8 x 27,5 cm (softcover)
104 pages (43 color ill.)
ISBN : 978-3-03764-498-0
EAN : 9783037644980
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God's Children, God's Poems God's Children, God's Poems God's Children, God's Poems
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