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Re-membering the colonial present : Jimmie Durham's serious dance


Re-membering the colonial present : Jimmie Durham's serious dance

Meier, Rhonda (1999) Re-membering the colonial present : Jimmie Durham's serious dance. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Jimmie Durham is a contemporary artist, performer, and poet who was born into a family of activists and carvers. A graduate of Geneva's Ecole des Beaux Arts (1972), he devoted nearly a decade to activist work for the American Indian Movement on both community and international levels, before returning to art practice in the 1980s. An articulate, astute writer, as well as cultural producer, Durham offers a nuanced theorization of present conundrums of multiculturalism and identity politics. Underlying much of Durham's visual production of the 1980S and early 1990S is the conviction that what is at stake is a largely-repressed North American political situation in which colonization and racism continue to be perpetuated. His response is a multidisciplinary circulation between an evasion and invocation of cliches and stereotypes of Native Americans. As the plethora of competing voices, conflicting statements, and multiple histories inscribed across works such as the Self-Portrait (1987), and his series the Caliban Codex (1992) indicate, identity is constructed, fragmented, and in continual motion. Concomitant with this model of identity is movement as an actual condition in Durham's practice. Hence, the final chapter of this thesis also examines theories of travel and displacement as modes to describe the movements his work enacts and the strategies it deploys. It necessarily navigates around exile as a solution to ill-conceived state legislation, as well as resistance to the "logics" of colonial imperialism, and fallible notions of "truth," "history," and "knowledge."

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Meier, Rhonda
Pagination:xi, 130 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Thesis Supervisor(s):Acland, Joan Reid
Identification Number:N 6537 D87M45 1999
ID Code:918
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:15
Last Modified:13 Jul 2020 19:48
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