Hand Prints


Installation in the Tel Aviv Bus Station, 1996

I want to make prints of my hand. I'm not the only one. Many children do it. In some cultures hand printing has a strong meaning. Archeologists found caves in Argentina filled with hand prints and Aborigines in Australia use white and red to print their hands at important places. It is easy: the hand is tool and image and you just need colour to create an intricate personal pattern. Many people indulge in interpreting those lines and the police uses the fact that all hands and fingers are unique.

The first time I printed my fingers was when I was a toddler of three. I could not sleep in the light of the afternoon, I shit myself and started to make small signs on the wall with the excrements. Each print I put very carefully. I felt satisfaction and shame at the same time.

In this installation I did not want just to put hands on a wall. I wanted them to come out of holes, like from a well (a hole to come up from) or from a toilet (a hole to go down through). I planned and painted nine ring-like forms on the three walls of the room in the bus station. I made two circles of stones, made from paper garbage, on the floor. One of them I filled with light paint, the other with dark paint. From those two basins I took the paint during the hand print performance (with Boris Sekhon), which inaugurated the installation.