Robin on Federico’s Hand in a Box

Federico’s Hand in a box was first presented as some kind of a macabre Amazon delivery.

An obscene purchase from the world wide shop that sells everything even and including fresh body parts. Or perhaps its the product of a psychopathic employee schizophrenically manning the distribution centre whilst sending murderous gifts at random to unsuspecting consumers. Either way the bringing together of the severed hand and everyday packaging presents to us a new way of seeing the modern retail experience and beyond that into the wider world and our ourselves within it.


The work engages directly with Deleuze’s Body Without Organs alluding to the self perpetuating retail system feeding upon itself. The idea that the system is existing independently on its own, divorced from human control. Whether its self mutilation or next day torture delivery the point is that no sane rational operator would do such a thing. The system is displaying a level of autonomous control devoid of any human morality.

But more than laying it bare the piece goes further and subverts the endless flows of  Deleuze’s desiring machine of the global retail system. The hand itself was not formed into that of a life giving creator of even the limp innocent receiver. But instead the thumb was angled into the position of the universal shopper about to strike buy on their mobile phone. Severed prone in that purchasing position the dismembered body part is itself a subversion of the flows of desire. A visceral illustration of the interruption of the ever continuing wheel of production, desire and distribution. The hand it appears has been severed prone at the  point of ejaculation, then packaged and shipped to the eternally unfulfilled.


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