My art is on the side of life that insists, “Don’t Shoot” – the title is a directive. DON’T SHOOT is a series of site-specific instillations, paintings, encaustics, and digital images created out of a desire to discourage violent behavior and its mimicry.
I place replicas of firearms in an interactive setting to call attention to the need for gun control. Presenting guns out of context is my attempt to suspend the malevolent and careless use of deadly weapons. Perhaps it seems contradictory that I have tied my antipathy for violence – as well as dozens of toy and miniature military guns – to garlands that are generally used as accessories of celebration.
As “decorative” art, the guns are harmless, “reduced” to their elemental properties of plastic, metal, light and sound – attached to thousands of feet of hand-cut garlands made from fiber, mylar, ribbon, tape, twine, and plastic hanging from aluminum wire sculptures. I’ve affixed hundreds of beads, bells, charms and mirrors to the garlands as well.
The installation is a space viewers may enter. Hung as “floor-length chandeliers” the toys and garlands invite the viewer to touch and be touched by strands of reflection and fabric. Showers of transparency reflect the person within and the exhibition space beyond. Various gauges of plastic recast light. Bright fabrics in solid colors and patterns reflect off plastic. Within, the guest becomes performance artist, transparent to others and to herself, in a neutralized zone.
People who choose to interact by pulling a trigger revert the gun to its dangerous identity. Will the participant shoot for the experience of pulling the trigger? Toward someone? Randomly? At oneself? It publicizes the decision and puts the shooter on display.
Cover Images (clockwise from bottom left)
1 Still from a video by Joseph Mark Hanson taken at ARTELPHX 2015.
3 & 7 Julianne Capati for FEMarts, an exhibition of women artist in Tucson Arizona 2014. Don't Shoot was my first site specific installation and my first work for the series.
5 Lacy Wolf, detail of a site-tailored assemblage for G Gallery, Houston, Texas, 2017.