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The Melt Goes On Forever: The Art and Times of David Hammons film image, co-directors Judd Tully and Harold Crooks

The Melt Goes On Forever: The Art and Times of David Hammons

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North American Premiere

An astonishing documentary about the elusive and provocative African-American artist David Hammons, The Melt Goes On Forever chronicles the legendary artist’s incredible body of work, from his body prints in the 1960s, to found object sculptures, to cheeky installations in upper crust galleries, which overtly mock the elite art world and critique the capitalist and arbitrary notions of value in art.

Hammons’ work is often blistering, firmly rooted in questioning the dominant culture and exposing racial injustice, and exploring the space that Black people hold in America. Hammons is notoriously private, and this conflict between his personal reticence and worldwide attention is fascinating to watch. The film reveals the tension between insiders and outsiders in art, and explores the fickleness and push-pull antics of the established art world. Using archival footage, interviews with artists, curators, and critics, alongside animation, this film is a remarkable record of the work of an artist who constantly defies the establishment and remains subversive at every turn.


 Q&A Sept 30 & Oct 2


This film is also available on VIFF Connect


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101 min
Art, Music & Photography Documentary

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Executive Producer

Lisa Cortés, Rea David Tully


Judd Tully


Harold Crooks


John Russell Foster, Christina Wairegi


Tynesha Foreman


Louis-Martin Paradis

Original Music

Ramachandra Borcar


Judd Tully headshot, The Melt Goes On Forever: The Art and Times of David Hammons co-director

Photo by Anthony Sherin

Judd Tully

Judd Tully’s career in journalism began with the 1970s underground paper The Berkeley Barb, where he covered the politically-charged trials of the Soledad Brothers, George Jackson, and Angela Davis in San Francisco and Marin County. For over two decades, he was Editor-at-Large of Art & Auction Magazine. His journalism and art criticism has appeared in Flash Art, ARTnews, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Art Newspaper, as well as his blog

Harold Crooks

Photo by Medrie Macphee

Harold Crooks

Harold Crooks’ The Price We Pay premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, was voted Best Canadian Documentary in 2014 by the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. He co-directed Surviving Progress (2011), which premiered at TIFF and was screened at Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. His film writing credits include The Gig Is Up (2021), and Sundance and TIFF Audience Award winner The Corporation (2003), whose narration he co-wrote with director Mark Achbar.

Filmography: Surviving Progress (2011); The Price We Pay (2014)