These Hands Have Become Tools

Mechanics' Hall. Portland, ME.

February 2nd - February 28th, 2014.

These Hands Have Become Tools documents my research, dialogue and interaction with the Mechanics’ Hall and the community of Portland Maine. It honors laborers of the present and past, while leaving room for those to come. As viewers made their way through the floors of the hall, they faced an eight foot tall shelving system leaning against the wall. These shelves housed two hundred plaster hands of community makers. Continuing up the building, housed within the cloak room were used work clothes of current makers of Portland. An audio track played through two tactile transducers attached to a set of windows that overlooked the ball room. Playing was a reciting of descriptions and slogans of the trade banners that were paraded through the streets of Portland. This audio echoed throughout the building, resonating a past that seemed to be forgotten but still lives on within the building. The window was left open, allowing the audience to watch as the ballroom slowly became restored to its original state, marking the Mechanics’ Hall reclaiming of their space.

Plaster, plywood, borrowed community makers clothing.