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David Hammons Bliz-aard Ball Sale (1983), Pippi Långstrump, the strongest girl in the world (1969)

The Bliz-ard Ball sale was a performance piece in which David Hammons situated himself alongside street vendors in downtown Manhattan (here outside the Cooper Union) in order to sell snowballs which were priced according to size. One might interpret this act as a parody on commodity exchange, but also as a critique on the capitalistic nature of the art market. In any case it’s a neat set of balls.

Pippi Långstrump (Longstocking), the character from Astrid Lindgren’s children’s books is not only strong, brave, mischievous and unconventional. She also invents new words, like “sakletare” (thing-searchers). More on this to follow…


Charging Bull by Arturo Di Modica (1987).

The Charging Bull – a symbol of aggresive financial optimism and prosperity – was created by sculptor Arturo Di Modica in 1987, following the stock market crash. He made the 3200 kg bronze sculpture at his personal cost, and had it placed illegally in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a form of guerilla art. The police responded by seizing the sculpture, but they eventually reinstalled it down the street after a public outcry. Rubbing the testicles of the bull is said to bring good luck to stockbrokers, and the tourists can’t resist it either. This frequent fondling has made the balls golden in color, and the sheen has reportedly increased significantly since last fall…

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