David Hammons’s “Ted Joans: Exquisite Corpse”
              Bruno Marchand
              David Hammons has long been playing a cat-and-mouse game with the so-called art world. While his professed admiration for Marcel Duchamp appears to have brought him a clear sense of the symbolic and transformational power that contexts confer to objects, it has offered an even sharper awareness of how the mythographic, star-making mechanics of the art world can be used in his favor. The ongoing mythography that has defined the latter part of Hammons’s career—his no-shows at his own openings, his reluctance to engage with critics and the press, his refusal to comment publicly on an “unauthorized” retrospective at Harlem gallery Triple Candie in 2006, thereby leaving open the possibility that the exhibition was his idea—now arrives in one of Lisbon’s most interesting venues, Lumiar Cité, which serves as a platform to promote yet another chapter of this story. At the heart of “Ted Joans: Exquisite Corpse” is a peculiar version of the famous Surrealist game that poet, musician, and artist Ted Joans initiated in 1976 and which ended in 2005, two years after his death. As the title suggests, Joans conceived Long Distance Exquisite Corpse as a travelling exquisite corpse that would find its 132 invited contributors in different …

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