In the Shadow of the Hand is a collaborative project that brings into conversation the practices of Sarah Forrest and Virginia Hutchison. Prompted by a shared desire to look at the relationship between the art object and language, it reflects on processes of evaluation and critique, and the development of artistic response.

The artists made objects that were cast in lead and exchanged. Once exchanged these objects were melted down to their liquid form and recast into lead letters with the artists responding—using text as they see fit­­—to the other’s object. An objective call invited a subjective response.

This relationship between the one and the other, between a text and an object unfolds without any set conclusions.

Invited to continue this exchange for MAP online, the artists have had to reconsider their approach. With gravity gone, how can the weight of words be used to express a response? If the physicality of the words is ephemeral, then shouldn’t the object be? If the object leaves no trace, then how is it witnessed?

The texts presented by MAP were written in response to the last lead object cast.

In reply to these, you are invited to witness a gesture in the shadow of the hand.

Wednesday 27 February 2013, 7pm, The Laurieston Bar, 58 Bridge Street, Glasgow, G5 9JB

Object 4b : Text


Still on a table of moving images;

a monument to density.

A used-up gesture, an obsolete reminder, the conclusion of compulsive


heavy and deadening in one hand, immutable on the other.

Not cadaver; not one static moment within another.

(A blip)

a point of mourning, the implication of memory.


(To consider it independently from the dimensions of vision is only part of

the story. Explicit in this is the disruption of cognitive responses mediated

by knowledge, mediated by emotion, an implication that you are central to

the narrative; a relationship (a tension) between empathy and experience,

between the long and the short of it, between three points.)


The sway of quiet standing has a fractal structure consisting of a motif repeated at varying levels of magnification; of fine and gross control tuning that involves slight activity in all joints. Although seemingly static, a static pose would cause it to fall forward onto the face, the body rocks slightly back and forth from the ankle. Sway also occurs in the hips and there is a slight winding and unwinding of the lower back. This is interrupted and broken up by shocks lacking any coordination and by tremors that give the impression that the musculature is engaged in a dance, completely independent of any ambulatory end. Sensing disturbances it reacts using appropriate synergy: that is, trying to stay balance. Anticipating future disruptions it adjusts timing, direction and magnitude of lean. It alternates between tilting forward and backward, and before each tilt reaches tipping point it counters with reverse direction. Standing with most of the weight on one foot so that shoulders and arms twist off axis from hips and legs, body assumes a counterbalance.

Hips shift and weight moves from one leg to another.

Gravity pulls blood into the lower back, blood pressure lowers; vision dims.

(There may be a time when the body pivots about the point of standing and accelerates towards the ground.)