HOUSTON CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY: "Sight Lines: Looking at Guns"

Exhibition: September 26 - November 13, 2016

In the United States, debates surrounding the right to keep and bear arms, as outlined and protected by the Second Amendment, have risen to a fever pitch in recent years. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, between 2010 to 2013 the number of guns manufactured in the U.S. doubled from 5.4 to 10.8 million per year, and as of today, there is estimated to be between 270 and 357 million guns in the United States—ostensibly one for every man, woman, and child. This increase in manufacturing coincides with a rise in mass shootings nationwide. In light of devastating recent events, conversations about the gun’s visibility, accessibility, and impact in our society have become ever-present, and photographs of guns and gun-related violence have been important in shaping these dialogues across the political spectrum.

Sight Lines highlights this discourse through the work of six photographers, who each explore the various cultural implications of the gun from its aesthetic qualities to the wounds it leaves behind. How do images of guns, gun culture, and gun violence shape debates about gun control? What is the difference between portraying abstract and explicit violence? And, how does photography, as both an evidentiary medium and an artistic tool, define and reflect the arguments on both sides? These are some of the questions this exhibition explores.

Shelly Calton, Christopher Colville, Garrett Hansen, An-Sofie Kesteleyn, Sabine Pearlman, Kathy Shorr