Paul Ramírez Jonas
Artist in the Public Realm

Witness My Hand, 2013



    MATERIALS: Photocopier packing box, marble slab, photocopier, hydrocal reproduction of a book.

    Witness My Hand is based on a simple premise: A copy machine is a form of active pedestal. A sculpture is placed on top, and its bottom can be "published" by the viewer. A photocopier is a magic base. Originals go on top, endless copies come out of it. The structure of this machine is very simple: there are things on top that get to be copied, they are originals. There are things inside, they are the raw material. And there are things that come out. All pedestals are a form of frame, and it could be argued that they transform whatever is on top of them. Piero Manzoni made a series of pieces called Base Magica: A pedestal that a viewer could climb onto and become a sculpture. Manzoni also made a piece called Pedestal of the World: a pedestal, with inscription on its base, turned upside down so that the world was on top of it. Let us re-imagine those pieces with a copier in the place of the pedestal. A notary public has its origins in the role of scribe. A scribe was a recorder of facts, a copier and transcriber, and the notary public grew out of that. They now offer a service to the public - one of testifying to the originality of the mark. They 'witness the hand.'