Sunday, July 19, 2015

Jimmie Durham 1974 (2014)



In Jimmie Durham 1974 (2014), artist Amy Malbeuf takes a line attributed to another artist, Jimmie Durham, and beads it -- with centre-justified line breaks -- to a similarly coloured blue tarpaulin. The result is a monochromatic poem that is an homage to Durham, who at one point served on the American Indian Movement's Central Council, but also a critique of his statement.

In a 2014 interview with Canadian Art's Leah Sandals, Malbeuf says: "I do think that beadwork, or things such as beadwork and things that hold traditional value, are tools and weapons for change for a younger generation."

The image above is not from the current Custom Made/ Tsitslemte stem te ck’ultens-kuc exhibition at the Kamloops Art Gallery, but from a 2014 exhibition at Contemporary Calgary. The text on the tarpaulin reads:

AN INDIAN WHO SITS/ AND DOES BEADWORK,/ OR CONDUCTS BEADWORK CLASSES,/ OR TRADES BEADWORK/ WHEN HE OR SHE SHOULD BE/ ON THE FRONT LINE WITH A GUN,/ OR ORGANIZING HIS OR HER COMMUNITY/ IS PERFORMING/ A COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY ACT

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