Jimmy Robert (b. 1975 in St. Claude, Guadeloupe) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Robert’s practice ranges across performance, film, photography, works on paper, and writing. His work subtly explores the intersections between art history, representation and subjectivity. Robert often reconsiders crucial moments from avant-garde art history, questioning their capacity to reflect the political complexities of lived experience, especially from a black, queer perspective. Figures as varied as Stanley Brouwn, Marguerite Duras, Hokusai, Georges Balanchine, Bas Jan Ader and Yoko Ono have served as points of departure in previous works.
Notable among his recent performance works is Joie Noire (2019), commissioned by Kunstwerke Berlin as part of a series reflecting on the legacy of Robert’s friend and frequent collaborator Ian White. Using a collage of textual and musical material, this two-person performance addressed the racial and sexual politics of the AIDS crisis and the aesthetics of art, music and dance in the 1980s. Imitations of Lives (2018), meanwhile, commissioned by PERFORMA and staged in Phillip Johnson’s renowned Glass House, used the building’s modernist transparency, with its dramatization of looking and being-looked-at, as a vehicle to explore the intersections of architecture, visibility, and black representation.
Solo shows include: Many Shades of Brouwn, Stigter Van Doesberg, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2018); European Portraits, Peer, London, UK (2017); Descendances du nu, CAC - La Synagogue De Delme, France (2016); A Clean Line that Starts from the Shoulder, Museum M, Leuven, Belgium (2015); Vis-à-vis, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, US (2012).
Group exhibitions include: Tender Buttons, Künstlerhaus Bremen, Germany (2019); Any frame is a thrown voice, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2018); Relational Undercurrents, Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, The Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York, US (2018); 2017; Rest In the Furrows of My Skin, Kunsthaus Hamburg, Germany (2017); AIMIA|AGO Photography Prize, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (2016); All that falls, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2012). For more information visit: https://tanyaleighton.com/artists/jimmy-robert