Bouquet & Zip Gun – 1995, 1997

BOUQCHIC-lgMounted on a red wall are photos of “lead flowers.” The number of homicides reported in the city (of the exhibition) determined the number of photographs on the wall. Accompanying literature informed the viewer that the lead flowers in the photographs are of enlarged Starfire hollow-point bullets. Fired through gelatin, to simulate penetration of the human body, the bullets had bloomed into lead flowers. Each flower photograph represented one of the many casualties this year. Flattened, expanded and recontextualized as traditional flower photography, the Starfire hollow-point bullets became a symbol of both moratorium and horror. A plaque on the wall reads “To date there have been ___ homicides in this city.” The number in the blank changed throughout the duration of the exhibition. Bouquet was a memorial to the unknown dead of our streets.

Part science project, part danger fantasy, the zip gun of the 1950s was an innocent adventure toy for American youth. Though teen fascination with guns continues, the zip gun only survives as a bittersweet icon of innocence lost. With low cost guns sold freely on the streets and in gun stores, our Zip Gun is offered as a museum piece, in contrast to the arsenal now being used for childhood games.

Media: photography, graphics, website, mirrors, red paint, computer workstation, hardware, customized wooden box

Location: Gun as Image, Museum of Fine Art, Tallahassee, FL – 1997

Location: Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco -1995