CULTURE OF VIOLENCE
Commissioned work by Victor Cartagena
October 25–December 23, 2006
This timely exhibition by Salvadorean-born, San Francisco-based artist Victor Cartagena follows the artist’s investigation into violence as an underpinning element of our society. It includes two multi-media installations and related two-dimensional work. The first installation, Con los Ojos Vendados (With Their Eyes Blindfolded) was first conceived in 2005, utilizes video projection and features a dining table with blindfolded faces made out of loaves of bread. The installation questions society’s collective blindness towards violence and asks the viewer to open one’s eyes and engage in dialogue about complicity. The second installation, a new commission called Bang! Bang! Toy Gun! was inspired by prevalence of youth violence and a recent study that indicated that the firearm homicide rate in the United States was 16 times more than the average for other industrialized countries. Comprised of four video projections of youth holding guns, the artist hung 500-600 toy guns from the gallery’s ceiling to consume nearly two-thirds of the gallery space.