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Jimmie Durham Lecture Series: Richard William Hill

The Malice and Benevolence of Inanimate Objects: Jimmie Durham’s Anti-Architecture Works

From the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s, the dominant theme of Jimmie Durham’s art was anti-architecture. This extended project focused on the centrality of state and religious architecture in Europe and operated from the understanding that these structures were the materialization of national and religious narratives of identity. Durham subverted this materialization of ideology through a reimagining of state architecture’s key material, stone. Where architecture drafted stone into metaphorical use in narratives of permanence and stability, Durham found ways to render stone mobile, temporary and visibly active; a subversive agent against state monumentality.

A curator, critic and art historian, Richard William Hill currently holds a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Previously, Hill was a curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where he oversaw the museum’s first substantial effort to include Indigenous North American art and ideas in the collection galleries. Hill will discuss Jimmie Durham’s breadth of interests, specifically through the artist’s anti- architecture works.