THE HAND PROJECT
Several months ago, I was in the East Village when a thought struck me.
We pay so much attention to faces. We glorify them, we judge them, we obsess over them. As much as faces should be a universal bond between us all, they often tend to divide us. But our hands are different. They act, they converse, they form intimate bonds between people, places, and things. When so much societal pressure is placed on the face, why don’t we find solace in our hands?
This portraiture project is dedicated to finding vulnerability in the human experience. I have decided to film and photograph different hands in different places, as I travel throughout the world. Hands amidst different global backdrops are a way of expressing the bittersweet nostalgia that we all feel in certain spaces in time but also that intimate connectedness we feel with people in those places. The below video and photography work are the beginnings of my project. These hands are, in many ways, representative of the most basic form of human connection, and thus by extricating them from our faces, I hope to inspire people to reflect on and find genuine appreciation in who we are individually and collectively.
below, a short film inspired by and shot during my road trip out west in june 2017--
When I started my hand project a little over a year ago, I intended to decontextualize hands from the faces and people they belong to and recontextualize them in a number of different backdrops—places we are from, places we want to go, places we may never understand. My newest short film is inspired by the place that existed before any of us did—earth (and by extension, nature). This installment of the project parallels nature with human parts in a way that seeks to find familiarity in and connectivity among the pieces that make up human nature. We leave a mark, metaphorically and/or literally, wherever we go, and yet, so much of this earth still feels ultimately untouched. Through this video, I hope to preserve this seemingly antithetical but subtly beautiful sentiment of being human in a very real, tangible world and being human in a far more surreal and purely divine natural world. And from traveling quite a lot this past year, I have found that sometimes being in a place is about just that—being. And though I still don’t know exactly what that means, I know that I feel something when I contemplate the vastness of the Grand Canyon or drive endless miles through the wide, open desert. And I guess that this unnamed feeling, the feeling that permeates even the most inconsequential of our human experiences, is what drives this whole creative process in the first place.