As part of his ongoing effort to transform weapons into musical instruments, artist Pedro Reyes (previously) constructed a fully mechanized orchestra. Titled Disarm, the collection of eight new instruments were built through a collaboration with several musicians and Cocolab, a media studio in Mexico City.
The team acquired a variety of rifles, pistols, and shotguns seized from drug cartels by the Mexican army and used them to build the musical devices that are controlled by computers and can be pre-programmed to play music. In the video above the Creator’s Project recently sat down with Reyes to learn more about how he “transforms negative instincts into creative instincts.” It’s well worth a watch to see the instruments in use.
You can see more photos of Disarm over at Lisson Gallery in London where it debuted earlier this year. Additionally, many of the Disarm instruments will be at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh starting October 5, 2013 and the artist is also giving a talk on October 1st.
Using thousands of air rifle BBS artist Courtney Timmermans creates impressive taxidermy heads of wild animals. The body of work titled Urban Herd will be on view here in Chicago starting tomorrow at Jean Albano Gallery and will run through August 24th.
In her Harm Less series artist Sonia Rentsch defuses the powers of modern weaponry by constructing guns, grenades and bullets completely from organic objects. The shape and form of each piece are really convincing, yet I also enjoy the obviousness of each plant chosen to resemble various gun parts. If you’re reminded of Sarah Illenberger’s work, you’ll be happy to know Rentsch has had the opportunity to work with Illenberger in Berlin. Take a deep dive into her extensive portfolio of work over on her website. (via not shaking the grass)
As part of his latest project Imagine, Mexico City based artist Pedro Reyes acquired some 6,700 weapons that were scheduled to be buried (as is customary in mass weapon disposals) and instead collaborated with six musicians to create 50 working instruments as part of a statement regarding increased gun violence in Mexico. The numerous firearms were cut down, welded and formed into a variety of string, wind, and percussion instruments over a period of two weeks last month. Via his blog Reyes says:
It’s difficult to explain but the transformation was more than physical. It’s important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons; as if a sort of exorcism was taking place the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for lives lost. [...] This is also a call to action, since we cannot stop the violence only at the place where the weapons are being used, but also where they are made. There is a disparity between visible and invisible violence. The nearly 80,000 deaths by gun-shot that have occurred in Mexico in the last 6 years, or the school shootings in the US are the visible side of violence. The invisible side is that one of gun trade-shows, neglecting assault rifle bans, and shareholder profit from public companies. This is a large industry of death and suffering for which no cultural rejection is expressed.Guns continue to be depicted as something sexy both in Hollywood and in videogames; there may be actors who won’t smoke on the screen, but there has not been one who would reject the role of a trigger-happy hero.
Surprisingly this is not the artists first project involving the reuse of guns. Back in 2008 he was provided with 1,527 destroyed weapons which he melted down to build shovels to plant 1,527 trees as part of his Palas por Pistolas project. If you liked this also check out the work of Al Farrow. (via my amp goes to 11)
Artemio is a Mexican artist who makes neon light mandelas out of guns, daggers and other weapons. His latest exhibition opened about a week ago at Galerie Van Der Mieden in Antwerpen and runs through May 7. Here’s a 2009 interview from Vice.
Alabama artist Walton Creel uses a .22 caliber rifle to construct portraits of animals on thick sheets of aluminum, one bullet at at time.
When I decided I wanted to make art using a gun, I was not sure what direction I would have to take. I knew I did not want to use it simply as an accent to work I was doing, but as the focus. My main goal was to take the destructive power away from the gun. To manipulate the gun into a tool of creation and use it in a way that removed it from its original purpose, to deweaponize it.