The Propeller Group


AK-47 vs. M16


Fragments of AK-47 and M16 bullets, ballistics gel, custom vitrine
137 x 64 x 37 cm
Single-channel digital video

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. With AK-47 vs. M16, 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. M16 is thus a series of performances, the result of which (captured on ultra-highspeed video and in ballistics gel blocks) allow the human eye to see the projectiles’ flight path, the explosion, and the fusion.

(Edited from text excerpts provided by the Venice Biennale)