Jimmie Durham, born 1940 in the United States; lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
LABINAC is a design studio founded in 2018 by artists Maria Thereza Alves and Jimmie Durham with Kai-Morten Vollmer. Individually, Maria Thereza Alves and Jimmie Durham are both widely-celebrated artists whose solo careers have spanned more than four decades. Alves’ practice is rooted in research, advocacy and collaboration; her projects and installations take up questions around language, colonialism, and site-specificity. Alves was the recipient of The New School’s 2016-2018 Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics.
Durham has experimented with a multitude of forms across his career, including videos, performances, and sculptures that combine found objects and natural materials as well as plastic, cars, and even airplanes. His writing practice includes poems and critical texts that are often imbued with a wry sense of humor. In 2017 he was the subject of a major traveling retrospective, and in 2019 he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the 58th Biennale di Venezia. In parallel to the two artists’ distinct solo careers, Alves and Durham are life partners. Over the course of over four decades together, they have sometimes found the occasion to collaborate artistically; the 1992 performance Virginia Veracruz / Veracruz Virginia exemplifies an early meeting ground for their shared aesthetic sensibility and political engagement.
Together, the artist-couple have lived in Mexico, New York, Marseille, Brussels, and Rome; today they live in Berlin with frequent visits to Naples, Italy. Creating domestic objects—works of art to furnish their home—has always been a facet of the life and spaces they share together. LABINAC is thus the natural evolution of an intimate artistic relationship. Many of the pieces are undertaken individually; Alves works with glass-blowers to manipulate the liquid material into monumental flowing vases and lamps. Durham uses a variety of material—pieces of existing furniture, selected animal bones, antique wood, discarded glass often from the island of Murano, stones acquired all over Europe, bronze casts of bones and wood—to make furniture, light fixtures, and jewelry.
LABINAC is conceived as a collective, inviting other artists to contribute with designs and ideas, and is dedicated to working with Indigenous communities across the Americas, ultimately pursuing a vision of design that corresponds with their artistic and political values.
LABINAC was in residence at Callie’s from September 2019 to December 2020. Their exhibition BROKEN—Light shines through opened September 2020 and was on view until December 20, 2020.
LABINAC participated in Collectible, Brussels (2020), the NOMAD Venice, Venice (2019), as well as Milan Design Week - Fuori Salone, Milan (2019). Recently, LABINAC has been commissioned by the Venice Gardens Foundation to design tables for the research space of Giardini Reali in Piazza San Marco.
Maria Thereza Alves is an artist born in 1961 in São Paulo, Brazil. Recent solo exhibitions include Time Trade and Surplus Value, Artiaco Gallery, Naples (2018); Seeds of Change: New York – A Botany of Colonization, Parsons - The New School for Design (Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center) New York (2017-2018); and Wake. The Flight of Birds and People. Al Serkal in conjunction with Art Dubai. Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2015). Recent group exhibitions include NIRIN, The 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (2020). Potential Worlds 1: Planetary Memories, Migros Museum, Zurich (2020); Lenta Explosión de una Semilla, ORT Espacio de Arte (2020); Against, Again: Art Under Attack in Brazil, Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York NY (2020); Liminal – Interstitial Spaces, CTM Festival 2020, Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien and Botanical Garden Berlin (2020), and The First Toronto Biennial of Art, Toronto (2019), Undefined Territories: Perspectives On Colonial Legacies, MACBA - Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain (2019), Cuore di Tenebra. Può l’arte prevenire gli errori? / Heart of Darkness. Can Art Prevent Mistakes? OGR, Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Turin, Italy (2019).
Recipes for Survival a book of photographs, text and poems by Alves was published by University of Texas Press in 2019.
Jimmie Durham is an artist, essayist and poet born in 1940 in the United States. Recent solo exhibitions include Jimmie Durham, Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, Italy (2019); Jimmie Durham. God’s Children, God’s Poems, Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, Poland (2018); Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada (2018); Maria Thereza Alves & Jimmie Durham: The Middle Earth, IAC Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes, Villeurbanne, France (2018); Jimmie Durham: Labyrinth, Fondazione Adolfo Pini, Milan, Italy (2018); Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles US (2017) and Jimmie Durham: God’s Children, God’s Poem, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland (2017). Recent group exhibitions include Folklore, Centre Pompidou - Metz, France (2020); Among the Trees, Southbank Center - Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2020); 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia - May You Live In Interesting Times (2019). Durham was awarded the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2019. In 2017, Durham was awarded the Robert Rauschenberg Award and in 2016 the Goslarer Kaiserring Prize. His work is currently on view in the exhibition Studio Berlin at Berghain, 2020. Durham’s selected writings were compiled in A Certain Lack of Coherence, collected essays, (Kala Press, London, 1993) and Waiting To Be Interrupted (Mousse Publishing, Milan, and M HKA, Antwerp, 2014). His poetry is published in Columbus Day (West End Press, Albuquerque, 1985); Poems That Do Not Go Together (Wiens Verlag and Edition Hansjörg Mayer, 2012); and Particle/Word Theory (Wiens Verlag and Edition Hansjörg Mayer, 2020).