Fine art photographer Sabine Pearlman created a photo series of ammunition cross-sections, entitled “AMMO.”
By exposing the otherwise invisible architecture of these cartridges, she offers the viewer what some see as pristine Zen-like perfection of parts and what others see as the epitome of horror. Individually or grouped together against stark white backgrounds, these strange and alluring objects exist at the intersection of exquisite composition and lethal consequence.
Pearlman’s photographs blur our preconceptions of ammunition by showing us their simplicity and aesthetic balance, their serene arrangement of parts. The viewer can’t help but contemplate them as abstractions composed of shapes and angles, flecks of color and texture, devoid of use.
These full, unflinching photos show the tender yet explosive and violent insides of these objects. Pearlman suggests with these portraits, that as humans we live our interior lives encased in protective armor, and that we too hold both the possibility of killer and protector.
Much like Snow White’s apple in the Brothers’ Grimm fairy tale, AMMO represents themes of intrigue and tragedy, good and evil, beauty and horror, and allows us to reflect on our most inner fears and our highest hopes.
By eschewing the practice of giving each image a label describing the type, age or use of each cartridge, she preserves the cartridges’ ambiguity and offers the viewer the pure form to ponder and appreciate.
In 2013 Pearlman won the LensCulture Emerging Photographer Award for her AMMO series. The series went viral and has since been featured by PHOTO+ Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic, The Telegraph, The Boston Globe, The Daily Mail, WIRED, Zeit Wissen Magazin (Germany), Esquire (UK), NEON Magazine (France), World of Knowledge (Australia), among many others.
AMMO has been exhibited internationally, most notably at PYO Gallery South in Seoul, Korea as a solo exhibition, entitled “Fatal Beauty”.
"AMMO" | Orange Coast College Fine Art Gallery | Costa Mesa, California | April 20-May 29, 2015
“No Risk, No Reward” | galerie102 | Ojai, California | April 25-May 24, 2015
"Realities and Concepts" | ARENA 1 Gallery | Santa Monica, California | April 9-May2, 2015