Having trained in linguistics and written TV commercials for Coca-Cola, Jeremy's practice is driven by an interrogation of consumer culture. Working across installation, video and sculpture, he creates situations that propose alternative kinds of logic within commercial environments. This critical inquiry has been seen in two recent projects. With ERRATUM® (2012) he emailed factories all over the world, asking that one of their workers produce an incorrect version of the product they make every day. The objects produced were then packaged and presented as the collection of a glossy luxury brand. A second work, Fabrications (2013) was produced on residency in the Middle East. For this work, he commissioned a jeans factory in Palestine to manufacture jeans that represented what it was like to manufacture jeans in Palestine. The factory responded with a series of unwearable jeans. These awkward objects might be seen to question the semblance of democratic normalcy in the West Bank.
For Radar, Jeremy investigated a ubiquitous presence in corporate advertising: the hand model. Questioning what the function is of this disembodied character and with a focus upon the tactics of major brand campaigns, he observed how the hand model turns soulless commodities into objects of desire. Presented within an empty shop space in the centre of Loughborough i- included objects, photographs and a video.
Co-commissioned with Rurart, Rouillé, France.
In the language of corporate advertising, the hand model is universal. Lifeless objects are caressed between his disembodied fingers. Products are stroked by his knowing touch. I am trained to accept this immaculate limb as it reaches into my magazines, my televisions, my billboards. This anonymous hand performs alchemy on my material culture. Base commodities are sacralised. Raw matter is singularised. The mass-produced enters the transcendental.
Pause. Turn the page. An advertisement. A hand intrudes from page right: caucasian, male, early-forties. His skin is flawless, slipped out of an injection mould. Balanced on his fingertips is a hunk of clay: grey, lumpen mud. A life-force passes between these two; between the hand and the clay. The clay bears the impressions of his fingers. The lines of his palm are transferred into this blind matter. Out of clay something immaculate has been fashioned. The fingerprint of the divine.
I am gazing at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. And wondering about God, and clay, and matter, and man. I am reminded of Marcel Mauss, who says that human beings express thing-like properties. We are not separate from our material culture. We are stuff. We are products. We are the products of our Universe, and of its primordial cataclysms. We are atoms, and dead leaves, and stones that have been ground into sand. We are lipstick, and television sets, and Air Max, and Coca-Cola. We are vomit, and train wrecks, and diamonds, and clay.
The hand reaches out. It wants to touch something. To cross the threshold of its own skin. To feel. It lands on a smooth product. Caresses the product in its palm. Strokes, claws, clutches, grips the product. Presents it to the camera. Flash: a haptic bridge is formed between skin and plastic. Between product and product. It is a moment of physical bliss. I glimpse the Universe, and an infinitude of atoms endlessly reconstituting new beings, new forms, new products. And I turn the page.
Jeremy Hutchison, 2013