Word shot (7 prints). Inkjet print on paper. 72 x 36″ each print. 72 x 324″ installed.
These are seven prints, each featuring the same word, “Bursche,” shot at with a 45-calibre pistol. The word was found in various books and was shot wherever it was encountered (the work of a hitman).
Text Sources and Individual Titles:
Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Die Vergeltung, page 63
Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Die Judenbuche, page 28
Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Die Judenbuche, page 41
John Henry Mackay, Staatsanwalt Sierlin: Die Geschichte einer Rache, page 117
John Henry Mackay, Staatsanwalt Sierlin: Die Geschichte einer Rache, page 121
John Henry Mackay, Staatsanwalt Sierlin: Die Geschichte einer Rache, page 333
Hans Janowitz, Rufe nach der starken Armee, page 180
The words were shot with a gun. While many other common methods of murder imply some form of body contact, shooting is detached. It has the same detachment that typing has: writing is not produced directly by the hand, but the hand is merely what triggers the apparatus to do its functions. Likewise, using a gun means pulling a trigger. No direct physical involvement with the victim. A gun is a form of communication, too. In fact, its communicative purpose may be as important as its murderous purpose. Shooting here is also a form of drawing, of wordprocessing, a way of writing, a means of punctuation. In these works, the symbolic meaning of murder is in the foreground because we all know that you cannot kill a word by shooting it. You shoot one, and the next pops up.