AK-47 vs. M16


2015
Sculpture and Video
Fragments of AK-47 and M16 bullets, ballistics gel, custom vitrine and one channel video (approx. 12’)
137 x 64 x 37 cm
The Propellor Group



The concept behind this work is unique: There have been only a few instances in the history of modern warfare in which bullets from opposing militaries have collided on the battlefield and merged into a single object. This object fuses two projectiles aimed with the intention of killing the enemy, but joined in mid-air under miraculous odds. In short, The Propeller Group seeks to isolate icons of destruction from both sides of the Cold War, an AK-47 and an M16 assault rifle, and thus force the two sworn enemies into a philosophical dialogue. While the M16 was America’s pride and joy and the symbol of ‘freedom’ throughout the wars fought during the second half of the twentieth century, the AK-47, also known as the Kalashnikov, was the weapon of choice for liberation, an icon of revolution, and of communism. Both assault rifles have been branded ‘weapons of peace’ by their corresponding nations. Gun enthusiasts to this day still continue to compare the advantages and weaknesses of their preferred guns. Ironically, those same guns still meet on today’s battlefields. The AK-47 vs. The M16 is a series of performances where the rifles were aimed at each other in order to collide and fuse their bullets. The results are captured on ultra-highspeed video and in ballistics gel blocks, allowing the human eye to see the projectiles’ flight path, the explosion, and the fusion. (Text courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia)


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