THE SWING SERIES
Two aluminium casts of hand guns are welded to each other, their phallic barrels strangely forming a single straight tube. The eccentric weapons are obviously completely useless. Looking like conjoined twins, the guns’ union is simultaneously their death; projectiles shot through their barrels would essentially destroy the whole device, leaving us with no victor. Brothers at war, they are probably too close to figure out the suicidal nature of their conflict. Ultimately, all wars are pseudo-patriotic forms of collective suicide. Zoom out, and the guns instantly become quite indiscernible. What appears now is a rather unusual, metallic swing, with the strange, ‘Siamese’ twin-weapons f unctioning as a kind of seat that is just about large enough to take a child sitting down. Two swaying chains link the object-pun to the ceiling. The artistic conversion generates contradiction; conflict is now play, death is now life. Nevertheless, the simplicity of the artist’s alteration is deceptive. This is not just an object with two contradictory functions, weapon and swing. Our interpretations of the object must also remain open-ended. The work can suggest the victory of play over war, the ultimate triumph of freedom, represented by childhood. But we could also reverse this interpretation: what if war is simply a grown-up equivalent of child’s play? The swing provides no answers. Its questioning is inscribed in its state of suspension.
One swing: Aluminium casts of two hand guns, and a pair of chains. Blitz, Curated by Raphael Vella.
Organised by START and Malta and Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna, Malta. Malta at War Museum, Vittoriosa, Malta, 2005
Three swings: Aluminium casts of two adjoining hand guns, and a pair of chains. 100 Artists for a Museum, Curated by Antonio Manfredi.
Casoria Museum of Contemporary Art, Naples, Italy, 2005.
Two swings: Aluminium casts of two adjoining hand guns, sand Directed by Jan Maeyaert
Kunstenfestival, Watou, Belgium, 2011.