High level of cats


Drums, taxidermed cats

Variable dimensions

Stuffed cats are sleeping on top of African drums that are over two meters tall. The installation looks like a strange forest dominated by the felines' calm presence.

As is often the case in David Hammons's work, the title gives a clue. High Level of Cats refers to the cats' aspiration to be part of the upper class. In slang, the word “cats” refers to African Americans. The literal manifestation of this expression—cats perched on African drums—brings symbolic and ironic power to the artwork. This spectacular installation is exemplary of the artist's approach: he likes recycling found objects that refer to African American characteristics and culture.

David Hammons' High Level of Cats installation was shown for the first time in 2006 at the Where Are We Going? exhibition at Palazzo Grassi, in Venice.