Jimmie Durham – Jannis Kounellis
December 11th 2006 – 7 pm
(until January 31st 2007)


Jimmie Durham and Jannis Kounellis’ collective exhibition at RAM presents installations created especially for this event.
Both artists are open to confrontation realizing a new idea of collective exhibition that joins two different kinds of narration. As Kounellis said it is ” more interesting than the exhibitions we did in the past” pointing out the subject of diversity as the starting point of their line of argument. However, they share some ideas in their interpretation of the concept of Deposition.

Deposition is for Kounellis “an emotional hypothesis at first, then a critical one and finally something different . It is not a description. It is like a ghost that wanders about and gives the work its title”. As far back as 1975, at the Galleria Pieroni (Pescara), Jannis Kounellis had approached the issue of deposition with reference to Marat’s death in the painting by David.
In the installation that Kounellis has created for the present exhibition the union of the historical and poetical drama of reality comes back, the presence of the world-as-life comes into the installation to give voice and weight to collective history.
Kounellis states the importance of language in asserting diversity. He maintains that the message of the artist needs a very exact linguistic definition in order to be incisive. Language becomes the instrument that opens to dialectics and helps to acquire a new kind of freedom.

To Durham, the idea of “Deposition”, stripped of its religious meaning, presumes the choice of a steady, safe and secret place.
The artist shows us a carpet of broken wine glasses and on top of a ladder the spirit of the work: an obsidian stone. The artist recalls a very recurrent topic in his poetic: transformation of materials.
The obsidian, breaking the glasses, transforms rather than destroys, it changes the shapes and the use of an object, it translates one object into another.
Deposition in Durham’s work equals destruction. The stone, the “movie star” of the work, as the artist loves to call it, finds its established and fixed place in the act of transformation of the material. The artist states “‚ĶDestruction is the stable place for the stone. But you can’t destroy material, you can destroy its use, a shape. If I came to your house and I brake your wine glasses that is just criminality but if I buy them and break them it’s not criminality, it’s not destruction, it’s transformation that looks like destruction. So when I speak about destruction of wine glasses I don’t really mean that they are destroyed, they change so that they can help that beautiful black stone”.

Jimmie Durham and Jannis Kounellis give voice to “localities”, they are dialectic poles of modernity. The two artists are representatives of two diversities that reflect diametrically opposed contexts. Their references rely on bases that belong to History and to collective memory.