David Hammons  The Holy Bible: Old Testament

HAND/EYE PROJECTS are very pleased to present a limited edition artist's bookwork by David Hammons. The Holy Bible: Old Testament has been some seven years in the making, and is the artist's first published bookwork.

The publication is an appropriation of Arturo Schwarz's The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp (softback edition), and has been rebound to resemble a bible - the details of which are as follows:

1002pp, 225 colour plates, soft cover, leather-bound, gilt edged, gold tooling, plus slipcase. Approximately 30 x 24 x 2.5cm in size. Weight 8.6 kilos. It is produced in an edition of 165.

The project has been supported by Arts Council England






Although it seems initially like a simple one-liner, the trajectory of the critique here is actually rather ambiguous. Does this piece merely mark that Duchamp is 'overrated', his work taken all too often as holy writ? Or is the object of parody the reifying form of the catalogue raisonne, a complex and multivalent history of public and private art-making reduced to an inventory.

Steve Stern, A Fraction of the Whole, Frieze Contemporary Art and Culture, March 2009


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