Prototype for a Play Structure
Prototype for a Play Structure, (2000)
Room size 22’ x 24’. Materials: wood, steel, plastic, rope, artificial grass, paper targets with bullet holes, clothesline, NRA youth clothing and youth program brochures, picnic table, coloring book, sandbox, coal, tin cans, plastic toys, toy guns, masonite pegboard. Site-specific installation for “Inland Specific: Installations by Artists of the San Gabriel Valley” at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA.
The Armory Center currently functions as a children's art center and a non-profit exhibition space. The building originally stored weapons and ammunition for the National Guard. Prototype for a Play Structure, references both the past and present functions of the Armory center with a children’s climbing structure in the shape of a handgun, complete with hammer, trigger, handle and cylinders. The space is transformed into a residential backyard with wall-to-wall artificial grass. Instead of sand, the sandbox is filled with gun powder and strewn with over-sized shell casings to use as sand buckets. Like bath towels hanging on the line to dry, bullet-ridden targets with children's silhouettes are attached to a clothesline.
This installation drew attention to the seduction and marketing of youth into the gun culture by the toy industry, gun manufacturers, and the NRA.