George Shaw reports from the land of the free…
Bondage to the War Machine
When a friend in the British Army lost his legs and an arm in Afghanistan in 2009, artist Carl McCrow turned his love of guns and their aesthetic possibilities into a mission to deactivate and destroy as many weapons as he could through his organisation One Less Gun. In History Interrupted, The Art of Disarmament at Hoerle-Guggenheim, McCrow creates sculptural and photographic works with decommissioned bullets and AK-47 rifles to neutralise their power while reminding us of their continued threat, as one of the most effective killing machines ever invented.
Cildo Meireles also has something to say about bullets in his exhibition at Galerie Lelong. For more than forty years Meireles has investigated ideological, economic and political systems through installation, sculptural and experiential works. His monumental Amerikkka erects a steeply angled, free-hanging ceiling made with 40,000 hollow bullets against a base of 20,000 white wooden eggs that creates an unsettling sensation for someone standing shoeless sandwiched between the two. With Virtual Spaces, Meireles creates trompe l’oeil installations that create corners inside corners and invite participation for their full effect.
All the Money I Found in a Year
Untitled (Suicide Note #6) from A Bande a Part
Untitled, Orange Crush
Table Sculpture (detail)
Todd Pavlisko understands the perceptual value of gold. In his show, I Love You, at the Robert Miller Gallery, row upon row of thousands of discarded and found coins – bars, cabs, sofas, streets, pockets, toilets – are presented as 24-carat, gold-plated trophies inside a beautiful, thirty-two by eight-and-a-half feet frame in a cool, expensive gallery; their value reassigned by a lick of (the right colour) paint. Gold-leaf serigraphy works on paper celebrate culturally significant people who have committed suicide with the gold gothic script serving as epitaph and love letter.