WORKING HANDS

ANNA KOCH

Working hands 2 small

The hands you see are moving in-between states. They are tracking, supporting, making rhythms in order to fill out gaps. They search, balance or emphasize words. Helping the uncivilized to be civilized and articulated? Or negotiating which story to be told? Some gestures are made for nothing, some to make sense.

The hands you see are hands moving while talking about work. Through a conversation they are reflecting their own genealogical past. How does the working body write itself through history from within the actual physically executed work? Even if we have been talking for many decades about machines taking over manual labour it is now it is happening. I have been interested in looking at the body beyond today’s production forms and efficiency, to let the hands reveal traces of a very close by past.

Some speak of how certain traces are left within themselves, or how radically different one relate to that we call work, if work ever stops or if it is an ever continues flow of activity, or a habit that is dominating your life. Working hands could also not be working. Some hands speak about skill, lost skills, skills gained with new technologies. About holding on to old values or to let go. Some speak about abuse, about working to many hours, tensed in the same position. Some speak about not having any work at all.

The hands you see are unpaid to talk. One could see this as a hopefully pleasurable exchange. I get your time and you get freed to do nothing but reflect and think/feel through the experienced body/mind, the hands.

I have chosen to cut together random fragments of a string of conversations. When I study them I am interested in looking at the almost didactic mirrored gestures, there is much to read – but also of the gestures in-between, the small, un-identified ones. How come the very small movement with the left little finger is there?  A dance without a choreographer.

Working Hands/Light Vessel 21 s a commissioned piece for TÖNE festival in UK June 2014.