13 STATEMENTS ABOUT GUNS - performance in Brick Lane in London, july 2009

I went out to Brick Lane on a sunday afternoon in july 2009 to talk to people about guns. I brought with me a blackboard, some chalk and a replica of an AK47 rifle that I had made myself out of plaster and some fabric and a little bit of paint. It looked quite real from a distance. My friend Chiara came with me to film the performance with a mini dv video camera. I also carried a camera myself. I asked people who walked by to write their own statements about guns on my blackboard. Many interesting conversations took place there and I had documented 13 statements on my blackboard before the rain and the police put an end to the event. The performance had not been announced in advance and was said to be of disturbance to the public. The police asked me friendly if it would help my art if they arrested me. I said no thank you, so they just told me to pack my things and go home. The number of statements on my blackboard made the title for the performance. I like the number. For anyone familiar with the christian myths, as most of us are in our part of the world, we all know that there were 13 people present at the the last supper, on the night before Jesus was arrested. But who was the13th.person? Jesus or Judas? The number 13 has been assosiated with evil, but it can also be assosiated with inclusion of the excluded one. I took the number 13 with me and used it in the installation Judas is with us that was exhibited in the Crypt at Chelsea College of Art, during the final show for the master students in fine art that year. The video of the performance 13 statements about guns was part of the installation in the Crypt. Together with the blackboard, some chalk and an invitation to the public to write their own statements about guns. For more about the the show Judas is with us go to guns.