Jimmie Durham

  • the best of 2016

    TO TAKE STOCK OF THE PAST YEAR, ARTFORUM ASKED AN INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF ARTISTS TO SELECT A SINGLE IMAGE, EXHIBITION, OR EVENT THAT MOST MEMORABLY CAPTURED THEIR EYE IN 2016.

    ALEX HUBBARD

    Rodin’s The Thinker, 1880–81, after a bomb planted by the Weather Underground exploded on March 24, 1970, at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Photo: C. D. Moore.

    ANNE COLLIER

    Portrait of Hilton Als by Catherine Opie, wrapped in bubble plastic, as it appeared in “James Baldwin/Jim Brown and the Children,” curated by Als for the Artist’s Institute, New York, June 14.

    SLAVS AND TATARS

    A disposable, self-administering

  • THEIR FAVORITE EXHIBITIONS OF THE YEAR

    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions and events were, in their eyes, the very best of 2009.

    RICHARD ALDRICH

    “Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors” (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) You kind of get the feeling that Bonnard was a real artist. He was concerned not with the past (art history), present (his contemporaries), or future (his legacy), but with expressing himself in terms of his own perceptions, interactions, and experiences of the world. Whether of a room, a still life, or a loved one, each painting becomes

  • TO BE A PILGRIM: WALTON FORD

    A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO Walton Ford was making small illustrations for the diary of an ancestor of his who had lived on a Southern plantation. The stories were about slavery and slaves; the diarist was a woman, so not quite a slaveholder, just confusedly complicit. The atrocities revealed in her diary were of the everyday, common, complicated sort during slavery times. She wrote, for example, that when her father sold off the two little girls she used to dress up like dolls, she missed them very much. Her last name, Walton, was included in the images along with Walton Ford’s own.

    Photocopied as

  • Collecting

    PERHAPS EVERY IMPERIUM has had its official collection, and perhaps these collections always began as piles of war trophies. Some of those piles have lasted: in the 1970s a bill was introduced in Congress to provide for the establishment of a museum of the Central Intelligence Agency. In London there is an Imperial War Museum. Others have vanished, like Montezuma’s zoo for animals from the far reaches of his empire—a museum of natural history. But whatever has happened to the piles physically, they have transformed themselves as institutions. When the European states began to expand their empires,

  • THE GROUND HAS BEEN COVERED

    (The passages of this essay that are printed in boldface were written by Jimmie Durham, those in lightface by Jean Fisher.)

    Don’t worry—I’m a good Indian. I’m from the West, love nature, and have a special, intimate connection with the environment. (And if you want me to, I’m perfectly willing to say it’s a connection white people will never understand.) I can speak with my animal cousins, and believe it or not I’m appropriately spiritual. (Even smoke the Pipe.)

    I’m assuming there is an audience interested enough in American Indians to read this. Like V. S. Naipaul, I imagine the possibility of