Rainer, known primarily as a dancer and choreographer, made this film in a hospital bed while recovering from surgery. A cofounder of Judson Dance Theater, a collective of artists who distanced themselves from conventional dance of their time, Rainer expanded her repertoire into film with this work. Hand Movie would become part of the series Five Easy Pieces, which affirms the tenets of her 1965 No Manifesto: “No to spectacle. No to virtuosity.” At the time, Rainer saw her films as experiments rather than completed artworks. Here, the hand movements become increasingly complex until they relax again into a flat position. Shown from all sides, the hand is treated with a sculptural approach.
Gallery label from "Collection: 1940s—1970s", 2019