Jimmie Durham an artist, poet, essayist and political activist, whose career spans five decades; on view his multi-dimensional practice, including sculpture, drawing and film. Interweaving two of her most recent videos Rachel Rose creates an immersive environment through movement, sound and colour. A new video work by Tabor Robak in The Magazine Restaurant.
Various Items and Complaints
This major survey show at the Serpentine Gallery highlights Jimmie Durham's multi-dimensional practice, including sculpture, drawing and film. Alongside new sculptures and key installations, the exhibition shows a group of early works that have never been exhibited in the UK.
Durham’s work explores the relationship between forms and concepts. He combines words within his sculptures and drawings to conjure images and uses images to convey ideas. His sculptural constructions are often combined with disparate elements, such as written messages, photographs, words, drawings and objects. The core of Durham's work is his ability to explore the intrinsic qualities of the materials he uses, at times fused with the agility of wordplay and, above all, irony.
In the 1950s, Durham worked extensively with wood, in the 1960s he started combining it with other materials, investigating the inherent qualities of the mediums he selected. In the 1980s, his experimentations evolved from object-based artworks to sculptural assemblages. Durham started using everyday objects including a range of materials from wood to PVC piping, metal screws and TV screens, which would become central to his practice in the following decades. Though Durham is wary of iconic representation in his work, in the late 1980s and early 1990s he began experiments on the relationship between culture and man made objects through his extensive use of installations.
At the heart of Durham’s practice is a continuous exploration and production of hybrid and seemingly fragmented installations that invite the viewer to reconstitute or reconstruct the underlying signs embedded in his works. His work addresses the political and cultural forces, e.g. the forces of colonialism that constructs our contemporary discourses and challenges our understanding of authenticity in art. Since Durham moved to Europe in the early 1990s, his works often, but not exclusively, challenge the idea of architecture, monumental works and narration of national identities by deconstructing those stereotypes and prejudices on which the Western culture is based.
Running concurrently at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery is an exhibition of American video artist Rachel Rose. Through opposite techniques and materials, both artists draw on subjectivity and personal history, cultural context and ecology to weave seemingly disparate narratives into their work.
Rachel Rose: Palisades
10 Oct 2015 to 8 Nov 2015
This autumn, the Serpentine presents Palisades, the first solo show in London by Rachel Rose, American artist and winner of the 2015 Frieze Artist Award.
Saturday Talks: Amira Gad on Jimmie Durham
31 Oct 2015 - 3:00 PM
Curator Amira Gad leads a tour of the exhibition by Jimmie Durham, Various Items and Complaints.
Rachel Rose: Palisades directly responds to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery with a unique site-specific installation. Interweaving two of her most recent videos – A Minute Ago (2014) and Palisades in Palisades (2014) – Rose creates an immersive environment through movement, sound and colour.
A Minute Ago begins with a video of a sudden and apocalyptic-like hailstorm in Siberia, over which Rose layers a sound recording of Pink Floyd’s Echoes playing to an empty amphitheatre in Pompeii. This scene is fused with Rose’s own footage of Philip Johnson’s Glass House, incorporating a tour led by the architect himself (rotoscoped in from an old VHS).
In Palisades in Palisades Rose uses a remote control lens and a precise trompe-l'œil editing technique to link a girl standing on the banks of the Hudson River at the Palisades Interstate Park in New York, to different moments in the landscape’s history, including the memory of the site’s involvement in the American Revolutionary War.
Through the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated events, Rose’s work presents humanity’s shared current anxieties and their multi-layered interconnectivity: our changing relationship to the natural world, the advance of technology, catastrophes, our own mortality and the impact of history.
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Galleries, said:
“The Serpentine Sackler Gallery space, with its unique history, architecture and location, serves as a perfect setting for Rose’s beautifully poetic, multi-layered works. Her videos urgently probe into some of the world’s most current and pressing concerns, as she tackles the issue of humanity’s changing relationship to the natural world and our growing use of technology.”
The autumn season at the Serpentine includes the concurrent exhibition of artist, activist, poet and writer Jimmie Durham at the Serpentine Gallery. Through opposite techniques and materials, both artists draw on subjectivity and personal history, cultural context and ecology to weave seemingly disparate narratives into their work.
The Serpentine presents a new video work by Tabor Robak in The Magazine Restaurant at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery as part of its autumn season.
Tabor Robak (b. 1986 in Portland, Oregon, USA) is a new media artist living and working in New York. His work includes computer generated images (CGI) to create animated visualisations of virtual worlds.
Drinking Bird Seasons, 2015 is a new single-channel video work by Tabor Robak. It displays an abstract landscape of colours and patterns suggestive of a smart phone’s lock screen. The continuous stream of Computer Generated Imagery animation is overlaid with an electronic phone clock showing the passing of days in compliance with the Gregorian calendar. It is juxtaposed with fictional holidays and constant live news updates. This internet-enabled animation serves as a commentary on the intrusiveness of digital information and the reliance on technical devices.
Supported by Spas and Diliana Roussev.
Image: Jimmie Durham, Carnivalesque Shark in Venice, 2015. Sculpture Glass, leather, piranha teeth, Papier-mâché, acrylic paint 71 x 30 x 33.5 cm. Photo: Francesco Allegretto
Miles Evans, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (0)20 7298 1544
V Ramful, email@example.com, +44 (0)20 7298 1519
Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA
Serpentine Sackler Gallery, West Carriag
e Drive, Kensington Gardens, London W2 2AR
Admission is free.
Open 10am - 6pm, Tuesday - Sunday, plus bank holidays.
The Serpentine Pavilion is still open daily from 10am to 6pm until 18 October