Award-winning artist JR and Time Magazine's project 'Guns in America' retells an American story of 325 million people, 265 million guns and 35,000 deaths a year. At the center: The 227-year-old second amendment.
Tonight the touring mural is coming to 21C Museum Hotel in partnership with The Mini Microcinema. The project sent JR to three U.S. cities affected by gun violence: Dallas, St. Louis and Washington D.C. There, they collected interviews and took portraits, asking people to share their viewpoints with the end goal of finding common ground.
The project initially came to fruition via a mural for Time's Nov. 5, 2018 cover. Faces crowd the shot — some forlorn, some tired, others angry. A few raise signs with bold lettering high in the air: BLACK LIVES MATTER; DISARM HATE; GUN RIGHTS = WOMEN'S RIGHTS; BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS. Some figures point guns to an unseen target; even more point fingers. Hover your cursor over any face: Each is accompanied with a sound bite.
A full spectrum of people is heard from, according to a press release: Gun collectors, hunters, law enforcement, shooting victims, emergency room teams that have worked on victims of mass shootings and lobbyists for the gun industry.
The complex mural (check it out here) is now on the road. The moving image mural features each person in the original project. Those individuals were filmed in slow motion with someone else also in the project to create what is now a "living artwork."
Cincinnati's 21C isn't the only hotel in the franchise involved. 21C hotels also hosting the exhibit: Bentonville, Arkansas; Durham, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; Nashville and Oklahoma City.
The press release notes that this event serves as an opportunity for attendees to listen and share their own experiences about the issue. It is free and open to the public today (Feb. 18) from 7-9 p.m. in the Main Gallery.
“At 21c, we believe that one of the primary functions of art is to inspire dialog about today’s most pressing issues,” says Museum Director, Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites in the release. “Art can provide a platform for exploring the challenges we face in our communities, our nation, and our world. Connecting with others through art like JR’s, which is inclusive, thoughtful, and thought-provoking at once, offers opportunities to nurture meaningful civic engagement.
"As a multi-venue museum, 21c is pleased that these important exchanges will take place simultaneously in all eight American cities we call home. We hope many people will come share their thoughts on guns, gun ownership, Constitutional rights, and more on Presidents Day 2019.”
A 60-minute program will be moderated by Alex Palmer, a criminal defense attorney and president of the Oklahoma Film Society.
For more info: 21cMuseumHotels.com