Roles in Archive: New Museum Curator, Artist, Speaker
b. 1961, Boston, Massachusetts/Lives and works in Los Angeles, California
Sam Durant’s politically engaged artistic practice is realized through photography, drawings, text, and sculpture. Transforming activist gestures into sculptural objects (and vice versa), the artist has extensively explored the notion of protest both as a subject and as material for visual art. His three-dimensional work often addresses architecture, civic design and, in particular, monuments. Durant’s 2005 exhibition entitled “Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monuments Transposition, Washington, D.C. proposed to assemble twenty-five monuments on the Washington Mall for lives lost during the Indian War. The project featured replicas of monuments from various locations throughout the United States, all of which made use of the ancient obelisk form that can be seen in commemorative statuary from the time of the pharaohs to today’s Washington Monument. Sam Durant received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston. One-person exhibitions include, Scenes from the Pilgrim Story: Myths, Massacres and Monuments Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2007); Gagosian Gallery, London (2006); Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monuments Transposition Washington, D.C., Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2005); We Are All Outlaws in the Eyes of Amerika Galleria Emi Fontana, Milan, Italy (2004); 12 Signs: Transposed and illuminated (with various indexes) Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium (2004, catalogue); Kunstverein Düsseldorf (2003, catalogue); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2002, catalogue); and Consciousness Raising Historical Analysis, Pain plus Time Separated and Ordered with Emphasis or Reflection Kunsthof Zürich (2001). Group shows includeBlack Panther Rank and File Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2006); Xiamen International Sculpture Exhibition, China (2005); 1st Moscow Biennale (2005); Monuments for the USA CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2005, catalogue); Whitney Biennial 2004, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004, catalogue); 50th Venice Biennale (2003); Artists Imagine Architecture Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2002, catalogue); and Scene of the Crime Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (1997, catalogue).