“This Is Not A Gun” Workshop (Contemporary Jewish Museum)
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Submitted by the Event Organizer
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Cara Levine: To Survive I Need You to Survive” at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, this workshop was developed as an extension of Levine’s studio practice and is a part of the multidisciplinary artwork “This Is Not A Gun” (TINAG). In this workshop led by artists Cara Levine and Angela Hennessy, participants will create replicas in clay of objects mistaken for guns during police shootings of civilians. The replicas will become part of the TINAG archive of over 300 objects created by Levine and past workshop participants. Through embodied creative practice, participants will share in discourse on the power of collective making as a means to intervene socially in cycles of violence and injustice.
“This Is Not A Gun” (2016-present) is an evolving studio project of over 300 objects that aims to broaden a national conversation around racial profiling, police brutality, and accountability. The project was inspired by a list Levine found in Harper’s Magazine titled “Trigger Warning,” which named objects mistaken for guns in civilian shootings by police in the United States, and shed light on the thread of racism that ran through these shootings. Levine embarked on a major sculptural work, where she began to carve each of the twenty-three items on the list from wood-a wrench, a hairbrush, a Bible-in her studio as a ritual of grief and mourning. She then expanded the work to include public workshops, which, since 2020, have been co-directed by Oakland-based artist Angela Hennessy. In collaboration with community activists, participants are invited to make replicas of objects, learn the stories of the victims in these shootings, and engage in dialogue about racial violence. Each object created at these workshops is added to the project’s archive. In addition to the workshops, the TINAG project includes a publication by the same title (Sming Sming Books), with essays by forty artists, writers, healers, and activists.
Presented by Contemporary Jewish Museum
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