These sculptures are from Geof Oppenheimer’s series Modern Assemblages, which appeared in the solo gallery show, “Inside us all there is a part that would like to burn down our own house.”
He detonates an explosive inside a cube made of ballistics plastic. This is what’s left behind.
It reminds me of the weird relationship between actual violence and depicted violence.
Like, we see more images of human-against-human violence–in video games, movies, TV, etc.–than anyone ever in the history of this species. (Already today, I’ve seen depictions of several hundred violent human deaths, because I watched a movie called The Expendables.)
But actual violence is increasingly abstract and distant from even those who perpetrate it: Most war-related deaths these days involve explosives, often detonated by people far away from the detonations themselves. Abstraction has kind of become the only way we can really think about this kind of violence, because we experience it abstractly unless and until the bombs land on us.
Also, I just think these sculptures are very beautiful*, and I like that they were created partly by chance and partly by careful design.
All in all, this is the best use of ballistics plastic I’ve seen since Mythbusters.
*Edit: I don’t mean “just” in the sense that the beauty of these sculptures is incidental. That the beauty results from (and relies upon) violence is of course central to the whole enterprise.