Gallery Installation, Dorksy Museum of Art, 2010.
Carrying. A signage installation by Curt Belshe and Lise Prown
The prevalence of guns in our country has a divisive political and social history that is now playing out on college campuses in a response to recent incidents of campus gun violence. A vocal new movement is now calling for allowing adult (21+) students with licenses to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. Eleven U.S. universities now allow concealed weapons on campus, nine of them public. Last year, 17 states considered campus carry legislation, but none enacted them. Concealed and open carry laws are rapidly changing across the nation and gun control opponents are making inroads state by state. In July 2009, The Wall Street Journal noted how the gun lobby has successfully pushed guns to more and more places, yet has suffered 34 consecutive defeats on students carrying guns into classrooms.
This is an installation of 50 signs (one for each state) that conveys the complex rules and regulations that pertain to concealed weapons across the nation. These signs will reflect the density of meta-data the surrounds the act of purchasing, transporting and using handguns. Juxtaposing the cool dispassionate nature of info graphics with the grim realities of an armed citizenry.
Our goal with this piece is to point out the complexity of this issue for members of campus communities across the country and examine how it is playing out state by state.
The artists acknowledge the support of the State University of New York at New Paltz Campus Art and Aesthetics Committee (Jacqueline DiStefano, chair), Village of New Paltz Mayor Terry Dungan and Village Trustee Shari Osborn, and Town of New Paltz Supervisor Toni Hokanson. The artists also thank the Dorsky Museum (Sara Pasti, director; Brian Wallace, curator), and, for their assistance installing and documenting the project, Haley Carlson, Dashiell Carroll, Whitman Carroll, Dave Hasbrouck, and Dylan McManus.