Jonathan Stone for Art-Sheep

Ô les mains is a project by Belgian photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte and artist Babak Hosseiny. The artists created a series of images where hands seem to take over a human body.

The fabricated anatomy of the people depicted in these photos consists of hands coming out of their mouths, backs and necks. At a glance, the illusion these misfit parts create, confuses the viewer, while the faces of the photographed male models look happy, confused or neutral against the bizarre malfunction of their bodies. Each hand symbolizes an anxiety or expresses a need in a horrifying way that doesn’t look like it fulfills a certain desire, but on the contrary, it leaves an impression of dissatisfaction.

Hosseiny was influenced by a sentence of Ludwig Wittgenstein. “If you do know that here is one hand, we’ll grant you all the rest,” writes the philosopher in his text On Certainty. The idea is a nod to 19th century philosopher G. E. Moore’s famous assertion “Here is one hand,” suggesting that since a hand exists, an external world must also exist.

After a decade and countless sketches, the artist eventually encountered Vanhoutte, who turned Hosseiny’s vision into reality. Together they created a series of works that look like a raw and explicit evolution of Wittgenstein’s quote, that physically expresses the mentality, feelings and emotions of each subject.

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