Since the formation of the earliest communities, human beings have been used to provide food and protection for themselves and their families. These basic needs compelled them to build fatal instruments like bows and arrows, clubs, and blade flakes to survive. By the evolution of the societies, weapons became more advanced and began to increase the “protection” by maximizing the shooter’s distance from target. Throughout the history, guns have provided food and personal safety, liberated or enslaved, enforced or defied law, and defended or acquired territory.
As you walk into the gallery, the first two pieces that immediately stand out most are a cardboard gun and a ceramic surveillance camera. The replacement of the gun’s lens with a Canon photography camera is reminiscent of the similar function of the two devices. Machine-guns and cameras both have a lens to identify, focus, and hunt. However, the outcome of pressing button in cameras and trigger in guns is absolutely different. Cameras usually accompany weapons in wars to document the moment. This intimacy has been increased in modern days especially with the emergence of cell phone cameras, which enhanced the spontaneity and mobility of documentaries. This piece symbolically offers recording and archiving of violence and encourages us to think about the catastrophic function of weapons.
Some of the artworks fall into several similar categories; however the only common theme between all the thirty-four artworks is make a dialogue about the object itself. This dialogue is strongly critical in some of the pieces and has a lower tone in others. When exiting the show, the very last piece that you see is a fully-functional rifle with an identification piece of paper. Although the machine-gun is not aimed at the viewer, it still gives you hesitation to take any further step. You leave while you heavily question the ordinariness of the human beings’ insatiable thirst for mass-producing advanced weapons and the level of comfort we have today with weapons and violence. Today, weapons have become a collectible object, which sometimes are passed down from one generation to the next even though they were not initially produced for an archival purposes.