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Hands, an eulogy to laziness

Over the course of these months, I have happened several times to photograph people’s hands.
Hands are important things, it can be said that it is they who turned us into men, even though we share them with our direct ancestors hominidae and all hominin cousins; Homo faber therefore, as they used to say.
Our hands evolved in an open, generalist form, they did not specialise in doing one thing, but that is what made them our universal toolkit.
So hands do important things: they build and shape objects and the tools to make them, they hunt, they cultivate, they produce works of art, they erect our cities and civilisations, they wield weapons to offend and defend, they speak in sign language, they pray and even tie their shoes in the morning, in a word they work.
However, I prefer to depict them calm, lazy or motionless, or intent on making affectionate gestures, as an antidote to the hectic and important activities that haunt us. The ones portrayed in this small series at most stand limply leaning on the steering lever of a tram, otherwise they are calmly and thoughtfully entwined behind their backs or reaching out to each other, at most punctuating a dialogue.
Humble hands, then, and a little sceptical, with little desire to enter the fray or to fight: a self-portrait.

The driver’s hand. Rome, Viale delle Milizie, March 24th 2023.
Headless man, hands are thinking. Rome, metro station Piazza Esedra, November 8th 2023.
Hands reaching out for each other. Rome, Corso Vittorio, April 20th 2023.
Bored hands. Castel del Monte (BT), April 22th 2023.
Monk’s Hand: the lace. Rome, Ponte Umberto I, May 12th 2023.
Contact. Rome, Via della Traspontina, November 16th 2023.
Conversation: pointing hands and listening hands. Rome, Piazza Pasquino, May 25th 2023.
Bowing: hands that speak of tiredness. Rome, Via delle Botteghe Oscure, October 12th 2023.
Contemplative hands. Rome, Borgo Pio, November 2nd 2023.
Representation: Hyperrealist old hand. Rome, Museum of Palazzo Bonaparte, Piazza Venezia, June 27th 2023.
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Pietro Coppa

Nato e vissuto a Roma, fotografo per antica passione.

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