Jimmie Durham, ‘Untitled’ 1993–2012
Jimmie Durham, Untitled 1993–2012 . Tate . © Jimmie Durham

Room 6 in Materials and Objects

Jimmie Durham

Untitled

Jimmie Durham, Untitled  1993–2012

‘Things that point. That was the first idea, and therefore the next thought was, ‘guns and cameras’’, Durham recalled. This series of wall-mounted objects resemble crude weapons and surveillance devices, collaging industrial, crafted and natural materials. They are titled with texts from works of western literature including the Christian Bible, and works by Homer, Virgil, John Milton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Leo Tolstoy and Thomas Mann. Durham confounds the relationship between object and text, subverting traditional museum practice and western systems of categorisation.

Gallery label, December 2020

© Jimmie Durham

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Dans plusieurs de ces forêts et de ces bois, il n’y avait pas seulement des villages souterrains groupés autours du terrier du chef mais il y avait encore de véritables hameaux de huttes basses cachés sous les arbres, et si nombreaux que parfois la forêt en était remplie. Souvent les fumées les trahissaient. Deux de...

Jimmie Durham, Dans plusieurs de ces forêts et de ces bois, il n’y avait pas seulement des villages souterrains groupés autours du terrier du chef mais il y avait encore de véritables hameaux de huttes basses cachés sous les arbres, et si nombreaux que parfois la forêt en était remplie. Souvent les fumées les trahissaient. Deux de...  1993

This is a composite sculpture made from a number of found objects and materials, including roughly-hewn wooden sticks, bone and a Coca Cola bottle. It takes the form of a strange-looking trolley-cum-machine, the purpose of which is ambiguous. The work has a lengthy French title, Dans plusieurs de ces forêts et de ces bois, il n´y avait pas seulement des villages souterrains groupés autours du terrier du chef mais il y avait encore de véritables hameaux de huttes basses cachés sous les arbres, et si nombreaux que parfois la forêt en était remplie. Souvent les fumées les trahissaient. Deux de ..., which translates as: ‘In many of these forests and woods, not only were there underground villages grouped around the chief’s burrow, but also, one could find true clusters of low-rise hamlets hidden under the trees, often so numerous that the forest could be full of them. Often smoke would betray their presence. Two of ...’. The title is taken from a piece of found text discovered by the artist and is attached to the handle of the trolley on a strip of white fabric. The work was originally titled Untitled but this was changed by Durham in 2009 to the current title, as was his original intention.

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Alpine Ibex

Jimmie Durham, Alpine Ibex  2017

‘I wanted to gather the skulls of the largest animals of Europe and bring them back into our world’, Durham has said, describing the resulting works as ‘animal spirits’. This assemblage of found objects incorporates the skull and horns of an ibex, a wild mountain goat found in the Alps. For Durham, the work is ‘more sculptural than representative’
No animal was harmed for the purpose of creating this sculpture. The skull and horns were acquired from a licensed dealer, who only uses materials that arise as a by-product of food production or natural causes, and never from endangered or protected species.

Gallery label, December 2020

© Jimmie Durham

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Art in this room

Untitled
Jimmie Durham Untitled 1993–2012
Dans plusieurs de ces forêts et de ces bois, il n’y avait pas seulement des villages souterrains groupés autours du terrier du chef mais il y avait encore de véritables hameaux de huttes basses cachés sous les arbres, et si nombreaux que parfois la forêt en était remplie. Souvent les fumées les trahissaient. Deux de...
Jimmie Durham Dans plusieurs de ces forêts et de ces bois, il n’y avait pas seulement des villages souterrains groupés autours du terrier du chef mais il y avait encore de véritables hameaux de huttes basses cachés sous les arbres, et si nombreaux que parfois la forêt en était remplie. Souvent les fumées les trahissaient. Deux de... 1993
Alpine Ibex
Jimmie Durham Alpine Ibex 2017