World genius David Hammons secretly opened a tour de force at Ace Gallery on Spring Street last Thursday.
We met with the master on Friday afternoon. Hammons was regally dressed in matching gray beret, turtleneck sweater and overcoat. He handed us a small blue flashlight.
We then walked into the cavernous tombs of Ace, confronting darkness and emptiness all around us. A few of the galleries were barred by wooden doors with no locks. But mostly, with two or three other fortunate visitors, we flashed blue light across the walls, reminiscent of police cars or bombs over Baghdad.
Leaving precipitously, we were stopped by the artist in the hall. "Please go back in, sir, we need more participants."
We then sat on the floor, flashing our blue light for an hour, as people walked in and out.
Some laughed, some gasped, some just walked around in silence. But everywhere we looked, we could not but come to the conclusion that Mr. Hammons had summed up the world we live in better than the FBI.
"David Hammons: Concerto in Black and Blue," Nov. 14, 2002-Feb. 1, 2003, at Ace Gallery New York, 275 Hudson Street, New York, N.Y. 10013.
CHARLIE FINCH is coauthor of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).