"The Window: Rented Earth: David Hammons"
July 11 - September 18 1980
“In Rented Earth, artist David Hammons deals with the diametrically opposed relationship between spirituality and technology. In this project, Hammons juxtaposes an African tribal mask with a modern day invention—a child’s toy television set, which emits only a non-specific light source. Ritual African staffs lean against a mud-covered wooden ladder and brightly colored platform shoes, partially covered by dirt are similar to an archeological dig.
In their natural mud hut setting, these objects, complete with reeds, pebbles and a net-covered doorway, reflect his concern with Afro-American culture.
Hammons also accentuates the disparity between old and new by piercing the class windowpanes with painted sticks, and by taping an “X: on each pane of glass.
This recreated primitive environment, for products of contemporary technology, amalgamates multi-cultural influences. The spectator is presented with an image of replete with historical contradictions.”1
Courtesy the Artist and New Museum