I am against violence of any sort. DON’T SHOOT calls attention to firearms and the need for gun control by placing models of dangerous weapons in an interactive setting. My goal is to discourage adult violent behavior and its mimicry among children. Perhaps it seems contradictory that I have tied my antipathy – as well as dozens of toy and miniature military guns – to garlands, generally used as accessories of celebration. My intention is to diffuse the malevolent use of guns by presenting them out of context. My art is on the side of life that insists, “Don’t Shoot” – the title is a directive. With it, I’m calling attention to the fact that people use guns for sinister reasons.
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. Showers of transparency reflect the person within and the exhibition space beyond. Hung as “chandeliers,” these sculptures invite the viewer to touch and be touched by strands of reflection and fabric. I am inspired by garlands as accessories of celebration. Various gauges of transparent plastic reflect light. Bright fabrics in solid colors and patterns reflect off plastic. The guest becomes performance artist, transparent to others and to herself, in a neutralized zone.
People who chose 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.