Jimmie Durham

[mac] musée d'art contemporain de Marseille

The Musée d’Art Contemporain de Mar- seille is not an easy place for an artist to handle. For example, a marble pavement is no doubt a very nice thing. It looks very smart in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel. But—and artists know this well—it is a problem, a real challenge, in a museum of contemporary art. That marble is a burdensome luxury that lends the MAC the look of a chic white cube—well, more chic than cube—underlining its already intimidating power of legitimization through the immediate display of an external sign of wealth. But where some other artists take over the place and its floor by trying to cover it, to erase it, to neutralize its ostentatious vanity, Jimmie Durham is content with an almost hands-off attitude, placing his precarious works of art here and there nonchalantly, as if it were all quite natural: an airplane crushed by a rock (Tranquilité, 2000), a mirror shattered

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