JIMMIE DURHAM was born in Washington, Arkansas, in 1940. He lives and works in Rome and Berlin. From the early 1960’s, Jimmie Durham was active in theatre, performance, and literature in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. 1973-1980 Founder and Director of the International Indian Treaty Council and its representative at the United Nations. 1981-1983 Director of the Foundation for the Community of Artists (FCA) in New York City.
Selected exhibitions in 2012: A Matter of Life and Death and Singing (Retrospective), M HKA Antwerp; dOKUMENTA 13, Kassel; Manifesta 9, Genk, Limburg.
RICARDO BREY was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1955. He graduated from the San Alejandro National School of Fine Arts. He lives and works in Ghent, Belgium. 1999 Trattenendosi, Venice Biennale, 1992 Documenta IX, Kassel.
Selected exhibitions: 2011 Frames & Documents: Conceptual Practices, Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros collection, cifo, Miami; 2009 The Burden and Blessing of Mortality, NICC, Antwerp; 2006/2007 Universe, S.M.A.K, Ghent; 2004/2005 Ricardo Brey. Hanging around, GEM, The Hague; 2003 - 2010 Annex. Work in progress, artist’s project space, Ghent.
“Writing a text for me is always an alien experience, in doing so I feel like a fish out of water.
In Ismailin thought all texts have one interior or hidden meaning - Batini - and in contrast one exterior or apparent meaning - Zahir - sometimes the things start to be very complicated and the interior meaning also creates one external meaning, and like this the process goes on like infinity mirrors that reflect the interior and the exteriors forever.
If Jimmie Durham and I decide to make a joint exhibition the esoteric and the exoteric (Batini vs Zahir) always are going to be in everybody’s mind, but from our side let’s just enjoy the company and that will be the commentary dealing with the Batini and the Zahir of our exhibition.
During the last 30 years we tried to make a joint exhibition but we never succeeded; always the shows in which we were together were the choice of somebody else. Even when we don’t regret the result - at least I don’t regret it, and I hope Jimmie doesn’t either - and even when in the middle are a lot of intents and failures, it is possible to say it was not our will that was tested but rather the will of others.
Thus this will be the first time that in plain peace of mind and in the most serene desire we unite our silence. Somewhere I found the expression: ‘Those words worthy to exist are those which are better than the silence’. I just hope that my words do not become noise in the silence; let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures in this adventure of making one exhibition together. As Billy Joel says: ‘Why don’t you realize... Vienna waits for you.’" (Ricardo Brey, 2012)