‘Without touch, we can’t connect.
Without skin, we can’t touch.’
Courtesy the artist and D’Amelio Terras
May 25, 1986: Almost seven million people across the US join hands to form a human chain that stretched more than 4,000 miles in an event billed as Hands Across America. This moment of collective action captured the nation’s imagination, and the intensity of the media coverage that surrounded it at times obscured the original intent of the event – to raise funds to help the homeless.
Artist Matt Keegan was 10 years old at the time of Hands Aross America. More than 20 years later, he created a body of work that looked back at the event and the wider media culture of the year it took place. This silkscreen was appropriated from a 1986 magazine advertisement for Vaseline; the title is the marketing slogan that was printed across the original image.