THE MELT GOES ON FOREVER:
THE ART & TIMES OF DAVID HAMMONS
MUST END THURSDAY, MAY 25
PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY JUDD TULLY
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY HAROLD CROOKS
“The more he tells the art world to go fuck itself, the more they want him.” – poet Steve Cannon, describing David Hammons, the brilliant, subversive, and elusive art star and provocateur. In the late ‘60s to mid-‘70s, 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. Not a conventional chronicle of Hammons’s life and work (now 79, he believes “the less they know about me the better”), the film captures his playful, no-bullshit spirit and conceptual integrity, using archival footage and rare interviews, dynamic animation and sound art, and candid accounts by artists (Betye Saar, Suzanne Jackson, Henry Taylor, Lorna Simpson). Hammons’s profound critiques of racial and social inequality illuminate and implicate simultaneously.
With support from the Helen Frankenthaler Endowed Fund for Films on Art, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Fund, and the Richard Brick, Geri Ashur, and Sara Bershtel Fund for Social Justice Documentaries
2022 101 MIN. USA GREENWICH ENTERTAINMENT
“A sly, toasty, piquant consideration of Hammons’ conceptual art, the way it mocks and eludes easy ownership…(with) scholars, critics, curators and luminous comrades speaking to the humor, funk, atmosphere and texture of the Hammons experience, the acid and ingenuity, the bang of it. Behold the assortment of thrilling footage of Hammons at work…a substantial, patiently made, entertaining portrait with a percussive, rhythmic jazz score by Ramachandra Borcar and some emphatic spoken word courtesy of Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets…”
– Wesley Morris, The New York Times
Read the full review.
"Sheds light on an elusive genius...THE MELT GOES ON FOREVER examines the stylistic evolutions that Hammons has gone through over the years and seeks to explain why his politically charged voice has remained so relevant for so long."
– Christian Zilko, IndieWire
“The art world’s Thomas Pynchon…THE MELT GOES ON FOREVER tracks the revered US artist’s career, without his direct participation, to illuminating effect… Electric and evocative… Filled with glimpses of a witty, inventive imagination.”
– David D’Arcy, The Art Newspaper
“(A) portrait of Hammons’ brilliant creative intelligence. This whole impossible-sounding, fascinating glimpse of a legendary artist is marvelously presented with animations and an inspired soundtrack by Ramchandra Borcar, based on free jazz, percussion using African instruments and spoken word by Steve Cannon."
– Belle McIntyre, Musèe Magazine