Erkan Özgen

Aesthetics of Weapons

Erkan Özgen

Aesthetics of Weapons

Year: 2018

Duration: 4 min 50

Single-channel HD video projection, color, sound

States can wage violence in the name of security, punishment, and even freedom. Yet those who behold the weapons, i.e. police, military and paramilitary forces, act as the mediators of violence. They control the fate brought upon by the weapon, so their functioning requires that the violence legitimized by the government trickle down to the individual. How does the beholder of the gun legitimized using it? Perhaps if we repeat the following questions we could get a semblance of an answer: Who is the subject of the gun? And who is the object?


When weapons are used, violence grows exponentially. Thus, weapons are quite literally the means to an end. The shooter is the subject of the gun and the victim is the object. In Aesthetics of Weapons, Erkan Özgen films a state-sanctioned subject of the weapon: a police officer. However, the artist blurs the subject-object relationship by the anonymous protagonist’s account of his gun. The video begins with a narrated personification of the gun attracting the gaze of the viewer, which in effect dually objectifies and subjectifies the gun. Thereon, the work moves through the intimacy of the protagonist and his gun, giving us an insight into this destructive relationship and representing a scenario of legitimization.

Erkan Özgen

Aesthetics of Weapons

Year: 2018

Duration: 4 min 50

Single-channel HD video projection, color, sound

Video produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation



BIOGRAPHY
Born 1971, Turkey
Works in Turkey