Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World

Solo en Inglès


A man holding a stone in front of his face

Jimmie Durham, Self-Portrait Pretending to Be a Stone Statue of Myself, 2006. Color photograph. Edition of 1 + 1 AP. 31 ¾ × 24 in. (80.7 × 60.9 cm). Collection of fluid archives, Karlsruhe. Courtesy of ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe


Narrator: Durham called this photograph Self-Portrait Pretending to Be a Stone Statue of Myself.

Jimmie Durham: But of course, I'm not pretending to be. I'm pretending to be pretending to be.

This idea comes from an old Japanese idea that I love very much. The Middle Ages Japanese court had a special language that you pretended to be pretending to be sorrowful if a friend died. You pretended to be pretending to be happy if something happy happened.

I just like the idea of a double pretense, that you're not really living your life. You're not really there at all. I don't know how ‘here’ I am, but I know the self-portrait is already a double pretense.