On a winter’s day in 1983, David Hammons set up shop in the street to sell snowballs of various sizes. He set them up in rows according to their size and spent the day playing the role of a friendly salesman. He places this event – which he later calls Bliz-aard Ball Sale – in a body of work that, from the late 1960s to the present, uses a lexicon of discrete actions and materials considered typically ‘black’ to construct a critique of the nature of the artwork, the art world and racism in the United States. Although Bliz-aard Ball Sale is often mentioned and the work’s reputation is increasingly influential, it has long been known only through meagre descriptions and a few photographs. In this study, Elena Filipovic shares the vast history of this ephemeral work, which she has gathered through oral testimonies and the discovery of images and rarely shown documents (Pinault Collection).
Originally published in English by Afterall. This edition, translated by Jean-François Allain and published by Bourse de Commerce / Pinault Collection, is the first in French publication devoted to Hammons’ work. The book is designed by Lionel Catelan and entirely typeset in Mercure (Abyme, 2021).