Cast Gunshots and Cast Rifle Shots, 2015-16
Having cast an explosion, I began to wonder what a cast gunshot would look like. I contacted the Ottawa Police Guns and Gangs Unit who shot some blocks of clay with handguns for me. The bullets bored conical-shaped paths into the clay and these were then filled with resin. Often the bullet remained in the clay and became fused to the end of the form. We see gunfights and gunshots regularly depicted on television, but we never see the bullet or have a clear sense of its destructive power. Here, the power and physical displacement that a bullet can cause are stilled and made plain. Projecting from the wall at chest height, one can begin to imagine the damage these projectiles would cause if they hit you.
Following the Cast Gunshots, 2015, I cast shotgun shots, rifle shots and black powder musket shots. Each had their own particular appearance. What I was not prepared for was how the socio-political element of shooting came to dominate the reading of the works. While I am certainly aware of the function of weapons, I was still very much interested in the transposition of sound, time and motion into other forms, which had been the defining element in works as far back as the Clock Drawings, 2009-10. Finding a way to have the socio-political combine with the transformatory elements in a productive manner became the challenge. This led to accompanying some of the cast forms with video of me shooting and in the case of The Death of General Wolfe, 2016, referencing a historical event.
Below are a number of images of the aforementioned series.
A varitey cast from shotgun shots and varmit rifles. The two on the plinth are created by shooting blocks of clay with .222 varmit rounds. On the wall are casts of 410 shotgun blasts. Within these casts are the shape of the form that held the clay itself.
- .50 Calibre SST Hornady Round Fired with Black Powder at 20’, from the Cast Rifle Shot Series, 2016, 30 x 6.5 x 8.25”
410 Shotgun Blast, 2015, Resin, clay and shot