Jimmie Durham

God's Children, God's Poems

Artist, performer, poet, essayist, and activist, Jimmie Durham (b. 1940, Washington, Arkansas) 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.

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, this 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 with the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich to accompany the exhibition, Jimmie Durham: God’s Children, God’s Poem at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (26 August – 5 November 2017).

English and German text.

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