Beyond 'Thoughts and Prayers: Gun Violence, Activism, and Controversy in Contemporary Art

Susanne Slavick presents Disarming Arms on this panel organized by Annie Dell’Aria at the College Art Associations 107th Annual Conference.

Thursday, February 14 at 6:30pm

New York Hilton Midtown Trianon Ballroom

Other panelists include:

“The Most Fascinating and Well-Designed Artifacts of Our Time“: Collecting and Exhibiting Contemporary Guns in the Art Museum

Michelle Millar Fisher, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Disarming Arms

Susanne Slavick, Carnegie Mellon University

Feeds and Triggers: On Martin Roth’s In November 2017 I collected a plant from the garden of a mass shooter (2017)

Arnaud Gerspacher, Graduate Center, City University of New York

“Why don't they buy their own billboard . . . ?” Guerrilla Strategies, Media Infiltration, and the Role of Art in the Wake of School Shootings

Nicole Scalissi, University of Pittsburgh

Report US: Humanizing the Statistics

Eileen Boxer

On Repealing the Second Amendment with Art

Joshua Smith, Artist

Image: Jessica Fenlon, Ungun, video



Shared my curatorial experience with UNLOADED in "DISPLAY OF ARMS: A Roundtable Discussion about the Public Exhibition of Firearms and Their History" in Technology and Culture, published by Johns Hopkins University Press and edited by Jennifer Tucker.  In conversation with Glenn Adamson, Jonathan S. Ferguson, Josh Garrett-Davis, Erik Goldstein, Ashley Hlebinsky, and David D. Miller.

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UNLOADED at MCAD, June 9 - July 16, 2017

Unloaded is a nationally traveling multimedia group exhibition that explores the historic and social issues surrounding the divisive nature of gun ownership in the United States.

Curated by Susanne Slavick, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, the exhibition presents a number of perspectives on the image and impact of guns in contemporary culture, though none endorse them as a means to an end. Works by twenty-two artists and collaboratives touch upon a host of issues surrounding access to and use of firearms across a range of demographic categories.

The artists in Unloaded visualize the power of the gun as icon and instrument. They explore the role that firearms continue to play in our national mythologies, influencing suicide rates, individual and mass murder statistics, incidents of domestic violence, and the militarization of civilian life. Some show the power that guns wield in our daily realities and personal fantasies. Others mourn and resist that power, doing everything they can to take it away, believing there are better ways to resolve conflicts, ensure safety, and keep the peace.