hands holding the void

video
5 minutes (loop)
2004

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In 1934 sculptor Alberto Giacometti observed a child playing with a ball. It was this gesture that lead to the creation of one of his most haunting sculptures Hands Holding the Void (Invisible Object). Created as a head stone for his father's grave, the sculpture depicts a minimalist female figure holding an empty space between her outstretched hands. Giacometti's interest in existentialist philosophy and Ancient Egyptian "ka" sculptures influenced much of his work.

Reversing the gesture back to its original source Hands Holding the Void (After Giacometti) replaces the sculpture for the child's body which now serves as a living vessel for the soul, with the object of her gaze - the ball - holding its own momentary mystery. Here the child's gesture becomes equally as existential in nature. Slowed down and placed in successive repetition, the image forces the viewer to contemplate this single moment in time, not unlike the delayed viewing of a sculpture, and for a moment to sense something beyond ourselves and our day to day existence.

tara ernst © 2012