David Hammons

Salzburger Kunstverein

David Hammons’ African-American version of the “Stars and Stripes”—a green, black, and red flag—billowed over the portal of the Salzburger Kunstverein, lending the building the air of an embassy. In a place like Salzburg, where the culture-intoxicated bourgeoisie comes to see great opera and theater, an exhibition offering work by a black artist gives rise to expectations of utter otherness,which will hopefully manifest itself in the form of charmingly “different” cultural artifacts.

But Hammons, a bit of a killjoy, defeated such expectations. Only one picture in this show, in fact, made explicit reference to the “black other.” Tellingly enough, however, this portrait of a black woman is the work of Salzburger Rafaela Toledo, who with this painting commemorated her friendship with a woman writer stationed in postwar Salzburg during the American occupation. Hammons borrowed the picture from

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