VICTORI + MO is proud to present Armed Disposal, an exhibition of works by Bren Ahearn, Codi Barbini, Natalie Baxter, Erika Diamond, Amy Khoshbin, Katrina Majkut, Karmimadeebora McMillan and Margaret Roleke. This show opens May 7th and will remain on view through June 6th.
This exhibition highlights the rampant consumerism of weapons in the United States and questions the link between gun ownership and the effectiveness of American civilians to defend themselves. The recent murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia is another tragic example of this correlation and emphasizes a disturbing pattern of violence associated with guns.
The artists presented in this exhibition use unorthodox and demanding mediums to depict America’s obsession with weapons and protection while metaphorically debunking the American myth that violent tools prevent a violent future.
Deeply rooted in paranoia, anger and insecurity while enhanced by a maximalist consumer culture, gun ownership represents a longing for power and control over the unknown. With nearly 40,000 gun-related deaths in 2017 (Pew Research, 2019) and the number of guns (393 million) outnumbering the population (326 million) (The Small Arms Survey, 2019), America is reaching a tipping point of whether or not the constitutional right to bear arms is accomplishing its original intention.
The heavy inclusion of textile works, a stereotypically feminine and domestic medium, breathe life into the “hard” and “masculine” objects that are depicted. This textural contradiction references the bodies directly affected to address the human death toll that is often ignored among gun advocates who are adamant on defending the 2nd Amendment. Similarly, the use of gun shells and bulletproof vests are transformed into objects of expression giving them a new purpose and relinquishing them of their potential for destruction.
Armed Disposal analyzes the causes, effects and after-effects of gun culture and how and why it has permeated our daily lives while also shifting our understanding of materiality and purpose. More importantly, this exhibition offers critical perspectives on the how viewers can empathetically and constructively engage with the health epidemic issue of American gun violence with the intention of creating change.
This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Ahmaud Arbery and those lost to gun violence.