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Jimmie Durham at documenta 13, 2012. © Photo: Universes in Universe

Jimmie Durham at documenta 13, 2012

In his contribution to documenta 13, "The History of Europe," Jimmie Durham installed two glass cabinets in a large empty greenhouse in the Karlsaue. The right vitrine displayed a small prehistoric stone tool, and a bullet from World War II that was never fired because acid had been spilled onto it. The objects, respectively individualized as Exhibit A and Exhibit B, were meant to illustrate the history of Europe, explained in the left showcase. According to the text, the last three centuries were a rather unimportant period, and Europe not really a continent, but instead a political entity invented by small groups of people in Rome and Moscow.

At the entrance of the greenhouse, Durham placed the work which he had shown at documenta IX in 1992: two halves of a sandstone block with plaques indicating "This stone is from the Red Palace" and "This stone is from the Mountain."

As a prelude to documenta 13, already in October 2011, Durham made a work in collaboration with artistic director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. They planted two trees in an area of the Karlsaue that used to be an orchard. Christov-Bakargiev planted a Korbinian Apple tree, commemorating Korbinian Aigner — a Bavarian priest and gardener who was deported to Dachau concentration camp in 1941, where he grew four new sorts of apples, giving them the names KZ-1, -2, -3, and -4. Durham remembered a rare and almost unknown tree of his childhood, planting a specimen of the Arkansas black apple. During the 100 days of the event in 2012, the visitors could buy a special "documenta apple juice" whose bottles had a label designed by Jimmie Durham.


documenta 13

9 June - 16 September 2012
Kassel, Germany

Artistic director: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

Director curatorial department: Chus Martínez

190 participants of the exhibition

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