Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World

Solo en Inglès

different types of arrows

Jimmie Durham, Types of Arrows, 1985/86. Oak, flint arrowheads, cow leather, turkey feathers, canvas over board, ink on paper, 11 1/4 x 11 1/4 x 2 1/8 in. (28.8 x 28.8 x 5.4 cm). Collection of Coleen Fitzgibbon and Tom Otterness

Jimmie Durham: In thousands of cowboy and Indian films, a cowboy takes an arrow out of another cowboy and looks at it and said, "It's not Apache. It's Cheyenne." or "It's not Navajo. It's Apache." I'm charmed by the ideas that everybody has signature arrows [laughs] that you can tell, maybe you can even tell the name of the mother and the guy who made the arrow. It's so specific!

I thought I will make some things and I will show some things that could just as well be something, or not. I made a little wavy arrow and a tiny, tiny arrow. They all have real arrow points on them. They all have real flint points.

I just wanted to make something ridiculous to show how ridiculous it already is. And do it in way that doesn’t accuse anybody of being racist, because it doesn’t help to accuse people of being racist; it just makes them angry. But if you say, "Here are three types of arrows," then so ridiculous, then people laugh. Suddenly, they're removed from it for a little while and can see it, maybe can see it.

I don't want them to laugh at the genocide, but I want them to laugh at three ridiculous arrows.