This summer I’ve been lucky enough to intern at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, specifically working with Gallery 31 in the college exhibitions department. We’ve already seen some excellent shows–including work by Leslie Exton, Rick Wall, and the Corcoran’s continued education students (And this is just in Gallery 31! The rest of the museum currently features Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series, as well as Anima by Charlotte Dumas. I would highly recommend stopping by!)
Arguably Gallery 31’s biggest show of the summer, Manifest: Armed features work by artists Sarah Frost, the collective SmithBeatty (Craig Smith and Colin Beatty), and Julian Oliver. All four artists are dealing with facets of contemporary gun culture, ranging from cyber weaponry and technology to children’s obsession with real and virtual gun facsimiles. Armed is the first of Gallery 31’s Manifest series which is built around artists’ reactions to technology.
Largely due to my interest in gender as it relates to art (As well as many other factors contributing to my personal taste!) my favorite piece in the show is Sarah Frost’s installation of Arsenal. Frost’s work is both conceptually and aesthetically intriguing. Not only does the viewer appreciate the visual of elaborate paper guns suspended in the air, they appreciate the line of thinking behind the work.
Frost was inspired by the trend of boys publishing paper gun construction tutorials on YouTube. Something I had never heard of before but wasn’t very surprised by (I have a little brother. He went through a fake sword phase, a fake gun phase, pretty much every fake weapon phase known to boy-kind). An entire community has sprung up around paper guns in which these boys (And girls? I’ve only seen one, but the rabbit hole is deep, my friends) have become experts.
Check out this video, for example: Continue reading