Works by nearly 100 of today’s most prominent artists—including Willie Cole, Mark Dion, Mona Hatoum, Peter Saul, Yinka Shonibare, and Laurie Simmons—raise questions about the many issues that firearms trigger, leaving answers up to the reader. This invigorating survey of contemporary art and guns offers insight into the mixed associations of firearms in our culture. Situating these artworks within the contexts of fire domestication, weapon history, social movements, and art history, the book touches on subjects of power, equality, and access, and the current debates surrounding gun use. What emerges is the inherently dualistic nature of firearms, which are both protective and destructive, empowering and enfeebling, supporting peace and war, life and death. While this central ambivalence can’t be captured in statistical data or media sound bites, it thrives within these complex visual works. This collection reveals a striking diversity of viewpoints on guns, highlighting their inescapable duplicity and the compelling role they have come to play within our lives and imaginations.

translation missing: