Guess: Hands up or Hands on your back?
  • Guess: "Hands up" or "Hands on your back"?
At last night's art walk, I had at least three experiences I'd qualify as freaking great: The pairing of Victoria Haven's outdoorsy punk minimalism (yup, I know) with Jeffrey Simmons's ever-loving miracles at Greg Kucera; Adam Ekberg's lens-flared photograph of a sculpture made out of a Bic lighter and a cocktail umbrella at Platform Gallery; and Carolina Silva's wall of hands at Lawrimore Project.

Support The Stranger

The hands are adult hands—wrinkled, veiny—but they're smaller than adult scale. They're made of oven-bake clay, and hung on the wall in a grid of pairs. You may not be sure what they are doing; a handout that tells you what they're doing may or may not help to clarify. "Hands up" is an obvious moment of reaction, but then again, it quite resembles "Hands on your back." "Hands covering your eyes" snaps right into recognition, as does "Hands in pockets" (fingers all squished together), but there also are "Hands that don't want to answer" and "Hands knocking to make a fallen eyelash jump from one to another" and "Hands in tears."

Your eyes will be rolling along them, noticing instinctively all the ways in which they're not human, not alive, constructed, off. And then suddenly your eyes will hit upon a knuckle or a finger-pit or a stretch of palm that is so perfect that it must have been made by that other kind of human reproduction, and not art. If the artist could have made them all this perfectly, why are there such obvious imperfections, wrongnesses, on some of them, humpback hands and proportional maladjustments that knock you out of verisimilitude? But that being knocked is such a pleasure, as grotesquers like Daumier and da Vinci knew, too. This is just one wall of Silva's show, but it's a whole world of experience. To see them all (and Silva's other works), friend me.

*The answer to the caption question is: "Hands on your back."