I went out to Brick Lane on a
sunday afternoon in july 2009 to ask people what they thought about guns. I
brought a copy of an AK47 that I had made myself, a blackboard and some chalk
and a camera. My friend Chiara came with me. She filmed me when I talked to
people who came by. The film was made almost in one shot, - and with no
clipping afterwards. It is as close as it can be to a raw documentation of what
actually happened on that corner that sunday afternoon in Brick Lane.
I had been working with the idea
of a gun for some time. I had made casts in different materials, searching for
the essence of the idea. I was interested in finding out where that idea came
from, and what it means. I mean the actual human impulse to make such a tool,- not the
inventor, the factories, the tecknical function and so on. What I focused on
was the ”thing” as some kind of being, as an identification of human body and
human will, or as a social symbol and a cultural icon.
What do people think when they
see a Kalashnikov rifle? That was the simple question I asked. Before the police came and put an
end to the event, I had collected 13 Statements written on my blackboard. I like the number. It means something. It means bad
luck, from an old symbol of the enemies of our christian culture.13 guests
around the table. Judas is with us, - or inclusion of the excluded one.
Stills from the video 13 Statements about guns (camera Chiara Mu)
13 Kalashnikov Candles, from Gift Gallery - 10 Vyner street, London december 2009
13 Kalashnikov Candles; Installation in The Crypt, Chelsea London - 2009
The candle guns are made from paraffin wax, all with candlewick
through the whole length. They are mounted on metal holders, standing in sand, on a floor sized 4x3m at the lower end of a crypt.
Each gun piece is 87 cm high. They are all casts from the same
mold, after an AK47 rifle. The bandaged and crucified gun is the same
piece that was used earlier in a street performance in Brick Lane.
The Martyr and the Mourner; Installation, h.2,5m, mixed materials from The Crypt, Chelsea London - 2009
from the installation Judas is with us in The Crypt, Chelsea London - 2009
Judas is with us is an ongoing project. New statements are still collected from people visiting shows where the Brick Lane video is on display.