Skip to navigation Skip to main content

Jimmie Durham

The work of Jimmie Durham (b. 1940, Houston–d. 2021, Berlin) addresses the complex subject of colonial domination by ironically subverting clichés. As is often the case in Durham’s work, Africa and Antinomianism (2010) comprises a motley array of elements, both natural and manufactured, that combine to form a visually arresting and ambiguous piece. The symbolic dimension of the trophy evokes the idea of a brutal assault on a natural and cultural environment. Here, drainpipes, partly covered with fabric and representing a trophy on a wooden shield, appear to conceal the skull of a kudu, one of Africa’s most emblematic antelopes, symbolic of the wild nature of the plains, with long spiral horns that also play an important role as a musical instrument within ritualistic ceremonies. Like the object, the title of the piece contrasts two different realities by associating Africa with a term derived from philosophy and theology: antinomianism, meaning a ‘doctrine hostile to the law’, symbolising a thousand-year-old tradition of abstract thought, disconnected from real life.


  1. Jimmie Durham, "Africa and Antinomianism", 2001, Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Donation 2013 – Blanche et Henri Grethen-Moutrier
    Jimmie Durham Africa and Antinomianism, 2010

    Corne, vêtement, PVC
    80 x 39 x 46 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
    Donation 2013 – Blanche et Henri Grethen-Moutrier
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi | Mudam Luxembourg

The most important collection of contemporary art in Luxembourg Explore the Mudam Collection