Indian Country 52 #26 – Jimmie Durham
“Right after local Native tribes protested at the Walker Art Center over Sam Durant’s controversial sculpture, a new retrospective currently at the museum is being called into question as well.
Artist Jimmie Durham’s new retrospective Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World, which was organized by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and opened last week at the Walker Art Center, includes over 150 of Durham’s works many of which feature Cherokee imagery and references to Cherokee history. This would be fine considering Durham has said before in interviews that he grew up in a house that spoke Cherokee and his Hammer bio (now removed) stated that he is “a Native American of Cherokee descent.”
Except, as Hyperallergic’s Sheila Regan reports, the artist has said he is not Cherokee. In response to a 1993 interview in Art in America, which claimed Durham was one quarter Cherokee he wrote a letter in response stating, “I am not Cherokee. I am not an American Indian. This is in concurrence with recent US legislation, because I am not enrolled on any reservation or in any American Indian community.” That legislation is the 1990 Indian Arts and Crafts Act, which makes it illegal to sell art if you falsely claim to be American Indian, Native American, or a member of any federally recognized tribe.”
– The Muse (Jezebel), Art World Denounces Artist Jimmie Durham for Claiming to Be Cherokee.
“Fortunately, Minneapolis has an incredibly organized, tight-knit Native community, and Heid and Louise Erdrich (Ojibwe), Dyani White Hawk (Lakota), and Rosy Simas (Seneca) met directly with Olga Viso, director at the Walker, and Anne Ellegood, exhibition curator. Meanwhile, Ashley Holland (Cherokee Nation) was also researching Durham’s false Cherokee claims.”
– AetNet News, Why It Matters That Jimmie Durham Is Not a Cherokee
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #26 – Jimmie Durham (Walker Art Center).
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country. Follow the series: Indian Country 52
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This work by David Bernie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may download, share, and post the images under the condition that the works are attributed to the artist.