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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 14, 2004

(Mahwah) – Every Stone Tells A Story: The Performance Works of Jimmie Durham and David Hammons, a Ramapo Curatorial Prize exhibition curated by Candice Hopkins, featuring rarely seen documentation of the artists’ performance works by Maria Thereza Alves and Alex Harsley, will open in the Pascal Gallery at Ramapo College of New Jersey on November 10 and continue through December 17. An opening reception and curator’s talk is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10.

Candice Hopkins is the recipient of the Ramapo Curatorial Prize, awarded each year to a graduate student at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. She is a curatorial resident at the Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre in Canada.

I was interested in putting together this exhibition because of the commonalities in both artists’ practice,” says Hopkins. Sculptor, performer, critic and social commentator are words that could easily describe their work. In my mind, where their practice becomes evocative is in the roles they occupy: storyteller, mythmaker, trickster and magician.”

David Hammons was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1943 and currently lives and works in Harlem, in New York City. He has risen to prominence while consciously avoiding the art world limelight. He prefers to take his work to the streets and makes his art from refuse and the cast asides of African-American life: chicken wings, Thunderbird and Night Train bottles, clippings from dreadlocks and basketball hoops. In Hammons’ hands, discarded wine bottles become evocative sculptural signifiers of the African-American experience,” says the curator. His work is often infused with political views on race and cultural stereotypes, resulting in witty and elegant sculptures, installations and body prints. Hammons’ work has been exhibited at La Biennale di Venezia in Italy, Galerie Christine König in Austria and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona in Spain.

Jimmie Durham, born in 1940 in Arkansas, Washington is of Cherokee heritage. Born into a family of carvers and political activists, Durham completed a degree in sculpture at Geneva’s Ecolé des Beaux-Arts and has worked for the American Indian Movement, serving as head of the International Indian Treaty Committee at the United Nations, which led to the drafting of the International Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Durham frequently uses stones to reinvent and subvert stereotypes and ideas of cultural identity,” notes Hopkins. He reappropriates stone to integrate the fundamentals of art and architecture.” His work has been exhibited at the 2004 Sydney Biennale, the Mueso National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Spain, the Galerie Roger Pailhas in France and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. He currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

The exhibition is a way of reuniting both artists, who first exhibited together in the lower East Side in the early ’80s. Since that time, they have achieved a great deal of critical recognition while deliberately skirting mainstream art discourses,” says Hopkins.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Pascal Gallery is located in the Berrie Center for the Performing and Visual Arts at Ramapo College. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, 1 to 7 p.m. For more information, call 201.684.7147.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.

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