Hands of Stone
This installation is a co-operation between Amnesty International and the Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot. The purpose is to focus on children’s conditions in the world and to fan a discussion of the disastrous results of hunger, child labour, military service and prostitution for the grown ups of the future and for the world to come.
The installation is composed of more than 3.000 castings of children’s hands. On concrete plates some essential facts about world-wide life conditions of children will be presented. We should be grateful for any help for the process of casting the hands and for finding the wording of the explaining texts.
At first the hands will be exhibited on Flakhaven (the town hall square) in Odense 13th –16th November 2000. Later it can be exhibited around in the country and maybe in the rest of the world.
Background: In Denmark we have great difficulties healing the wounds of the children, who have been exposed to violence and lack of care. And this in spite of the great resources at our disposal. The difficulties we have treating these children in a country of high standards might give a straw in the wind about how great problems many countries from the third world are facing. Healthy children are the basis of a sound future, and if the raw material is abused or destructed, we will be facing an evil circle of powerlessness. Children with traumatic experience of violence and sexual abuse, and street children who are drug addicts or prostitutes are not prepared to create a well-functioned society.
Why does it concern us? Europe is already forced to take a position to the many human beings, who are fleeing from unreasonable conditions in their homelands and seeking shelter here. Unless we have in mind to built up walls around Europe and shut the problems outside the gate, we are facing a global responsibility to help. Often the problems are overwhelming to the countries in question and the visions of the future obscure. It is therefore necessary to think globally and to take care of a sound and democratic development all over the world.
Our hands are an indispensable part of our body language and dispose over infinitely many expressions. At the same time they are the most important tools of our body to feel and adapt the world. We can use our hands to form fruitful social relations and to alter the conditions of the things. In the present art installation these possibilities have come to a standstill, as the hands appear as paralysed or frozen.
We have to do with an art installation of a size so big becoming a poignant expression in the room of the city. The amount of hands will have an overwhelming effect and to some may even be threatening. This reflects the size and the seriousness of the problems. At the same time each single hand will be unique and point at the single lives, which are abused or destructed. The children reach through the earth and rise in the middle of our world. The hands are stretched out. Are we willing to hold our hand out to them?