Monday, August 10, 2009

chilled hands

There!   I knew that putting these in the fridge would be the thing to do (for, as I suspected, in the sudden heat that's overwhelmed NJ, the hands were rapidly losing their soapiness and developing an unpleasantly slimy surface).

It strikes me that I've taken rather a lot of photographs this year (some of which have made it onto this blog, but plenty that haven't) of artificial humans or parts of humans: shop window mannequins, museum dummies - some realistic, some stylized - and now these hands.   The more realistic - or the most human-like, whether through pose or expression or faithfully molded detail, the better, and I can only think that this is because of the pleasure of the uncanny, the unheimlich, the this-is-almost-normal-but-it-so-very-much-isn't unsettling quality to them.   In turn, I think this represents some kind of desire to subvert the realism of photography - or at least to make one think twice about what one's looking at, to think about how the more-or-less obviously false can look real (though honestly, I don't really want people to think too hard about whether or not I have a bag of severed tiny hands in my fridge, competing for space with the almond butter and blueberries and cans of diet coke...).


  1. OK, these tiny hands, chilled or unchilled, are about the most creepy beautiful things I have ever seen. Where on earth did you get them?

  2. Alas, a quick google shows that the site I bought these from is no longer in business, and the only other link reads "sold out". But whatever was I looking for in the first place - a year or so ago, I guess - that turned these items up? Mystery. How often *does* one google "soap hands"...?