Recent Films: Hands Catching Perceptions
T+ Gallery, Tsukuba, Japan
15th-19th Feb. 2021
This is a selection of four black and white digital films made by Andy Ash at his Red Herring studio in Brighton England during 2020. This is the first time he has shown this series of short films publicly. In each of the tightly shot frames the artists right hand is seen. They progress using the artist’s studio environment, materials, objects and tools as stimuli to explore the conceptual ideas, sensory properties and elements of his artistic process. They are like performances with hands.
In the Hands Catching Pencil, Hands Catching Pots and Hands Catching Rules we see the artists hand grasping to catch different objects. He methodically and repeatedly attempts to grab the object; sometimes successful but often failing. When successful the moment is brief before the object is dropped and cycle starts again. It could be argued that these films are conceptual – the repetitive, almost hypnotic nature of the fleeting image is intended to represent the hit-and-miss struggle to make something worthwhile.
In Hands Breaking Rules we see the hand bending and flexing the material trying to push the boundaries of its properties. The hand physically expresses the tension between medium and action, whilst repeatedly moving and manipulating positions. The strain of the task becomes increasingly self-evident until the shock moment of breakthrough. Unlike the other three films which appear to have no sense of purpose, Breaking Rules does appear to have a climax, even if that may emerge as a predictable non-event.