Mississippi Valley, early 21c
I have attempted a non-judgmental approach toward this creation, positioning this weapon as an object for contemplation:
It is a tool, inert and without intrinsic power, that requires the active intention (and judgment) of its bearer- for positive or negative purpose and consequence.
Born and raised in New Orleans and in the Deep South, I come from a culture where guns are part of everyday experience (if not actual presence). Besides the excesses of gun proliferation and abuse, these weapons are tools for provisioning, self-defense, recreation, metalsmithing- and represent intense design effort and intention in their form and function.
The gun is a potent power object in our culture, and through this piece I have ‘hybridized’ the tool with its Neolithic ancestor. This functional sculpture is meant to show just how far that we have come, how far we have evolved as a species…
“Open Carry” is an alteration of a 9mm machine pistol, popularized in urban vernacular as the “Streetsweeper,” with a 21 foot long circular clip. The piece opens the question of the idea of possessing and brandishing powerful, high capacity weapons, with the idea of “open carry” of a gun with seemingly unlimited rounds available- how much is enough? This sculpture suggests endless capacity, endless violence, something cyclical, to come around again and again.
The form is derivative of the “enso,” the Japanese symbol of the circle in Zen calligraphy. It is always rendered in “almost” completion, and the image suggests an open, irresolute quality, where the imagination must complete its closure.
I wanted to suggest an impressio of deadly beauty- as the gun is designed for efficacy and can be quite refined in its form and function, yet remains ominous and potent. Upon gripping this weapon, with its tremendous latent firepower, the high capacity clip circles around, and behind, and above you- like a scorpion’s tail and its stinger, poised…