hands up!

18 vintage back scratchers

20 x 5 ft.





“Hands Up!” is composed of vintage back scratchers collected by the artist from various sources. The back scratchers range from the more common bamboo segments to the seemingly arbitrary images of anything and everything—from sharks and donkeys to dead animal paws and tennis rackets. Typically hung upside down, the back scratcher here is installed upright, in order to subvert the benign association with the tool. The title references the cries of protesters following the failure to indict police officers in Ferguson and New York City for the murders of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and other victims of police brutality. Echoing the upended position of the back scratchers, the artwork suggests that those in a position to serve and protect have turned their duties on their heads.