HANDS UP is an interactive installation that explores law enforcement's relationship with people of color in the united states.
the installation is meant to be experienced alone. one at a time, a viewer walks behind a curtain into a room containing a large wall of flashing red and blue lights. they hear the sounds of sirens and the voices of police telling them to put their hands up. once they comply and their hands are in the air, a gunshot is heard, several blinding strobe flashes are triggered, and the noises disappear. the viewer is shaken by the sudden light and noise, and left in a chilling void of silence as they exit the space.
HANDS UP simulates the experience of being approached by the police in a heated, confrontational manner. similar interactions have resulted in the shooting deaths or brutal attacks of unarmed minorities throughout the united states, which have been increasingly covered by the mainstream media in recent years, and each of which has since contributed to the ongoing debate about the state of race relations in america. the piece directly places visitors in the chaotic and overwhelming moments before such an incident occurs, and invites viewers to contemplate being faced in such a way in the real world.
HANDS UP is a collaboration with atif ateeq.