In the late ‘60s to mid-‘70s, David Hammons captivated the art world with his body prints (using his naked body as a printing plate in meditations on African-American existence), and later works including a snowball-selling performance in the East Village and sculptures made of hair collected from Harlem barbers — all the while sharply defying establishment categories and rules of commerce. An unconventional chronicle of Hammons’s life and work (now 79, he believes “the less they know about me the better”), THE MELT GOES ON FOREVER captures his playful, no-bullshit spirit and conceptual integrity, using archival footage and rare interviews, dynamic animation and sound art, and candid accounts by eminent artists curators and critics (Betye Saar, Suzanne Jackson, Henry Taylor, Lorna Simpson, among others). Hammons’s profound critiques of racial and social inequality illuminate and implicate simultaneously.
THE MELT GOES ON FOREVER: THE ART & TIMES OF DAVID HAMMONS will premier at New York’s Film Forum on Friday, May 5. Directed by Judd Tully and Harold Crooks, the film provides a rich portrait of the brilliant and elusive African-American art star and provocateur, whose subversive work offers an essential commentary on race in America.