In this project I constructed a pinhole camera, where the exposure was created by shooting a hole with a pellet rifle. The resulting hole then exposes the large format negative in the light tight camera. Facing the camera, the act of shooting the rifle also initiated the recording of the image—a self portrait of me shooting the rifle. In the process of the shoot, the projectile from the rifle also pierced the film and the image of myself, creating a void in the image where the gun would be. The resulting image is a record of its own creation.
In this piece I explore the contradiction between the destructive act of firing a gun with the creative act of making an image. While referencing the famous performance of Chris Burden Shoot, I examine the way which photography alludes to death by creating an image of a moment that can never be relived. Also while conceiving of this project, I was thinking of the aggressive language surrounding the making of a photograph; one always ‘takes’ or ‘shoots’ a photo.
Self Portrait with Rifle
5’ x 7.5’