Guns Are Obsolete? And Also, Art

How weapons became fossils

Ever wondered what an archeological dig would look like in the distant future? Well, the exhibition Urban Fossils at the Cross Mackenzie Ceramic Arts Gallery (1054 31st St. NW), tries to imagine just that. Sculptor Paul Di Pasquale has created sculptures using actual destroyed guns.

The guns are meant to look like artifacts recovered in an archeological dig. The gallery even displays some of the pieces on a table as if the archeologist is sifting through, trying to make sense of the discoveries.

All the guns featured in the exhibit were taken by authorities from convicted criminals. Each sculpture is categorized by the serial number of the crime it was used to commit -- a constant reminder of the victims of gun violence.

"Every gun has been registered in a database along with the crime, the mark of the bullet, the cartridge and the people affected," explains Di Pasquale on the gallery's Web site.

Bullets still remain in some of the guns; visitors even pull the triggers of several. No need to panic -- to make the sculptures, Di Pasquale cut the guns into two pieces, rendering them harmless. Look closely and you will notice blue at the breaking point of some guns, meant to represent the role of the police in breaking up violence.

The exhibit expresses a hope for a future free from gun violence. Essentially, Di Pasquale is imagining a world where guns are just urban fossils from the past. 

We don’t know about you, but we’re beginning to think that the right to bear arms should be left up to Michelle Obama.

Through June 17; Tue.-Fri. noon-5 p.m.

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