This is Not A Gun, 2017
This Is Not A Gun is a 2 part project.
First come the carvings. It began In December of 2016, when I saw a list of objects which have all been mistaken as guns by police officers in civilian shootings, since 2001 (Harpers Magazine). The objects include: wrench, cordless-drill, water-hoze nozzle, flashlight, shower rod, cane, broomstick, hairbrush, sunglasses, bottle of cologne, underwear, tinfoil, bottle of beer, pill bottle, e-cigarette, cell phone, wallet, iPod, Wii remote, toy truck, sandwich, and bible. I felt I had to see and touch these objects - to give them presence and to call attention to their not-gun-ness. I began carving the objects from the list as an act of prayer, respect and remembrance. While I carve I am listening to books, essays and rhetoric about the history of race in the U.S.. While I work to live equitably, I do not presume to know all this history, or the ways in which I participate in it. I am invested in learning and in repairing where I can.
The 2nd part of this project comes in the form of workshop. Using these objects as catalyst, I am co-hosting conversations about institutional racism, gun violence inflicted by police, and holding space for what comes up in the physical space of looking at and touching these objects. I work alongside with local artist/activist collaborators in various cities.
October 7 2017, This Is Not A Gun with Alicia Inez Guzman and Pete Jackson, at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Sponsored by form & concept gallery, Santa Fe Community College, New Mexico Clay, and with proceeds of the sold artwork benefitting New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence.
April 16th 2018, This Is Not A Gun at Sonoma State University Ceramics Department, co-hosted with the SSU BSU.
May 25-27, This Is Not A Gun, at GroundShift, Hancock NY, with Kirat Randhawa of MNDFL Meditation.
Information about these events will be posted on my Upcoming page.
Please follow in Instagram for more in process updates of this work.
#thisisnotagun selections from instagram feed
Selected images from Tenderloin Museum and Santa Fe Art Institute