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Where a Stone Opened a Tube of Red Paint
3 elements: mixed media
2 wooden panels and acrylic: 120 x 100 cm, granite: 15 x 65 x 45 cm, stand: 60 x 65 x 45 cm
Inv. Nr. 121
Exhibition view: "Une Pierre Presque Volante", Galerie Michel Rein, Paris, 2004

Born in 1940 in the USA
Lives and works in Europe

Jimmie Durham has been involved since the seventies in the American Indian Movement for Indian Civil Rights that he has defended through art practices (poetry, theatre and performance). Since 1994, he has been pursuing a nomadic artistic career throughout Europe, operating through a removal from his native land and its typical “indianity”. However, he keeps a mystical relationship to materials such as wood, steel and especially stone that he considers as the ultimate sculptural form, shaped over time by the elements. Still, rocks are not used as a material in his work but rather as a tool for sculpting through actions of throwing, dropping or even sinking. Considering stone as the primeval medium of both sculpture and architecture, these actions are to be read as critical stances on these disciplines. Durham understands the power of architecture as an enforcement of religious belief or political power. Until then, the stone had to fit in the requirements of modernity. The artist provocatively reverses this by throwing stones at manufactured goods – a fridge or a car – as a childish attack on consumer society. His cathartic gesture also serves as a process for action paintings, among which Where a Stone Opened a Tube of Red Paint, performed at the Galerie Michel Rein in Paris. Tubes of paint were smashed, resulting in abstract splatters of primary colours onto paper or plywood.