The Most Dangerous Man on the Planet
WW is pleased to present the first UK solo show by Swiss artist, Jay Rechsteiner.
‘JAY GUN, The Most Dangerous Man on the Planet’, is an exhibition which ridicules the absurdity of gun-toting machismo. A collection of home-made guns and ‘other gun-related stuff’ satirically takes its cue from American gun culture and weapon infomercials.
‘JAY GUN, The Most Dangerous Man on the Planet’ dramatises the blur between fantasy and reality, child’s play and fatal consequences: Rechsteiner states, “Guns have always held a great fascination, especially for boys. They equip you with the perceived power and invincibility that transforms you into a hero, a cowboy, the saviour of the world!”
The gun, as a signifier of masculinity, is concerned with aggression - a tool which although frequently dangerous becomes useful in certain circumstances. It is also a totem of freedom, a penis substitute, a toy for the uncivilised, a symbol of power and a marker of the real American ‘manly’ man. And yet within the play and parody, a critical eye falls upon gun culture; it is sad and maddening that gun violence in the form of periodic massacres or gang-related killings appears out of control and unstoppable.
JAY GUN is one of Rechsteiner’s idiot personae: the epitome of a soldier, a mercenary, a gangster, and product of a militia state. You are invited to kill him off in the exhibition’s shooting range. Crudely-drawn guns, a Blue-Peter style weapons arsenal, an accompanying infomercial and a manifesto are all presented in Rechsteiner’s inimitable madcap style.
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