Jimmie Durham’s ‘Traces and Shiny Evidence’ is currently on show at The Parasol Unit’s foundation for contemporary art. Spread over the space’s two floors and thus completely filling it, there is a dichotic relationship between the works shown on the ground and first floor levels. Upon entering, you are confronted with an in-situ sprawl of objects, generally centred around the ubiquitous oil barrel and scattered car parts. The tone is somewhat macabre as plastic simulation of oil spills and found animal bones are strewn in a chaotic, accident-reflected manner. However, the synthetic colouration and the chameleon paint, in conjunction with the mapping of brightly shaded pipes and acrylic gel, animate and enliven the arrangement making it a generally upbeat affair without context.
Up the stairs, sheets of paper adorned with the impressions of cats and bears seem notably rather removed from the conversation below. A video entitled ‘Smashing’ creates another atmospheric change. A subversion of the formulaic quality control procedure sees objects brought to their desk of demise where they are repetitively destroyed.
Loosely and in its own distinct uplifted manner, the exhibition essentially attacks many negative aspects of our consumerist society, without actually passing comment. Waste, pollution, bureaucracy and thoughtlessness are all on the table. It is neither parodied nor positioned but rather an explorative readymade display. A clear trajectory of thought between the rooms is not necessarily blatantly obvious but the aesthetic and media contrasts are certainly powerful.
See what else The Parasol Unit has to offer, here.