To open the winter season Florence Lynch and Bee Tham organized a thematic exhibition using the hands as a departure point. Talk to the Hand, with Luisa Caldwell, Carlo Ferraris, Richard Long, Marcello Maloberti, Richard Serra, Haim Steinbach, Wang Jingyu, Alona Weiss, and Martin Wong, is on view through February 15, 2015. The exhibition examines how hand gestures are used as a mode of non-verbal communication in which gestures communicate specific messages, either in place of, or in conjunction with language. The hand gestures tend to be universal, equivalent in meaning to what would be said through communicative speech even as the actual meanings may change from country to country.
Examining how artists are using a variety of seminal hand codes in their work, the exhibition includes a good many gestural recognition for everything from mundane activities like salutation, masturbation, reading and writing, to emotive expressions of praise and criticism.
Noting the globalization of nonverbal vernacular, as Italian gestures are recognized worldwide and American imports like “OK” has permeated foreign culture, semantics in hand gestures prevail. Among the most complex, and perhaps the oldest and most offensive hand signal still in use, the moutza, in American terms is similar to the hand gesture that means, “talk to the hand.”