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Questioning “MaidenForge”

Posted in blacksmithing, guns, questions, sculpture, video & music

MaidenForge” is now public. In February we will present both the sculpture and film in a nearby Mennonite Church. We’re brainstorming prompts, questions we might ask or that people might ask us.

  1. What is “Gun Shy?” If you described it to a friend, you’d call it a _________.
  2. What do you see? …if you stand back at a distance? …if you get close?
  3. What do you want to touch? Not touch? What are its textures?
  4. If “Gun Shy” were given to you, what would you do with it?
  5. Does a piece of art ever change anything?
  6. Does “GunShy” simply fetishize, idolize, or mystify guns?
  7. What message will you take away from “GunShy?” Does that match what Irian says the sculpture means?
  8. Would changing the context of display change “GunShy’s” meaning? For instance, on display at a gun show, might the sculpture be seen as pro-gun?
  9. Why should rural people care about gun violence? Isn’t that an urban problem? How can rural dwellers engage with this issue?
  10.  Does it matter than the owner of this shotgun was a Mennonite who used it for hunting? Would “GunShy” be more effective if a handgun had been used instead?
  11.  How does the film shape, or change, your experience of “Gun Shy?”
  12. Were you carried by the story?
  13.  How does the music in the film affect you? Did its rhythms or intensity add to (or detract from) your experience?
  14.  What’s left out of the film?
  15.  What needs more explanation?
  16.  What was your initial impression of “Gun Shy?” Has it changed?
  17.  What alternative title might you give this piece?
  18.  What thoughts, feelings, or memories are triggered by “Gun Shy” (the piece) or “MaidenForge” (the film)?
  19.  Imagine that you wanted to make something to encourage disarming, what might it be? A song? A poem? A quilt? A story? A painting? A sculpture? A piece of music? A tool? Something else? What’s it made of? What would you call it?
  20.  Who else should see the sculpture or the film?

Questions we might ask you:

  1. Why are the two of you working together?
  2. How much time and materials were invested by both of you in this project? Was it worth the cost?
  3. How has this project changed your thinking about the issue?
  4. How has this project affected your family and friends?
  5. Since we’re members of a peace tradition, you’re preaching to the choir, right? So, what should we do from here? How can we help?