Jimmie Durham

  • Glass, metal, obsidian, fabric
  • 140 x 387 x 97 cm
  • Courtesy Ram radioartemobile

Deposizione is the name of two works created in the exhibition spaces of Radioartemobile in Rome in 2006. One is by Jimmie Durham, the other by Jannis Kounellis. The two artists give their personal interpretation of this archetype of sacred art: the descent from the cross and the deposition of Christ. This liturgical theme has been represented many times in painting and sculpture, and in particular by Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Rubens, etc. Deposizione by Jannis Kounellis and Jimmie Durham is a reflection on the notion of testimony. Both define it as a transformation of facts, the passage from an initial state where events occur, to a second time, that of narrative. The dialogue between the works questions our ability to perceive the real, and demonstrates that the testimony is only an interpretation. As a metaphor for protest, Jimmie Durham uses stones recurrently in his practice as tools and objects, and not as a monument. In Deposizione, he places a cut obsidian stone on a white cloth at the top of a stepladder. On the ground lie heaps of broken stemware. From the contrast between the materials emerges a narrative of the facts, by way of a reconstructed history. The stone may encounter broken glasses while crossing the space before landing on the stepladder. Obsidian occupies a special place in Amerindian culture. By introducing it into his work, Jimmie Durham unearths the properties of this stone, a rock composed of volcanic glass with very sharp edges, used as a weapon by pre-Columbian civilisations. "When you cut yourself with obsidian," says Jimmie Durham, "the wound doesn't stop bleeding because the body is not aware that it has been cut.”

Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 1pm and from 2pm to 7pm

2 rue Emilien Traver, 79500 Melle


photo artiste Jimmie Durham