Children’s Game #14: Piedra, papel o tijera

Mexico City, Mexico, 2013; 2:51 min
In collaboration with Julien Devaux and Félix Blume


This ancient Chinese game is played between two people, who in unison say ‘rock, paper, scissors’ before ‘throwing’ one of the three figures at each other: closed fist or flat hand or two fingers in a V shape. Rock blunts scissors, scissors cut paper, paper enfolds rock. Each round is win, lose or –if both players choose the same ‘tool’– draw. We see not hands but a shadow-play of hands against a pale background, as the two antagonists display the tremendous skill that kids alone can muster in what seems impossibly fast motion. ‘Conceptual art,’ you say, the kind you could watch for hours, the hands as synecdoche not of the body but of two bodies in a rhythmic frenzy of elegant interaction and dissolution.

Lorna Scott Fox

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