March 29 - November 16, 2014
Museums are filled with depictions of violence. Christ on the cross, The Trojan War, saints vanquishing Satan—these are common narratives in paintings lining the halls of most fine art institutions. In the case of arms and armor, these beautiful objects are understandably displayed to emphasize their exquisite craftsmanship, just as they are in Knights! Seen from this perspective, it is easy to romanticize items like swords and shields as hallmarks of a forgotten era of chivalry. However, the Worcester Art Museum presents an alternative narrative, reminding viewers that arms are designed to assault and armor exists to protect our fragile bodies from injury.
Working in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Worcester Art Museum presents Guns without Borders in Mexico and Central America. Featuring twelve projected images by documentary photographers Louie Palu and Carlos Javier Ortiz, and eight chromogenic prints by Dominic Bracco II, this six-month rotation will coincide with WAM's Knights! exhibition, which showcases our recently acquired arms and armor collection.
Bracco, Ortiz, and Palu, offer an intimate exploration of the realities that fuel gun violence in Mexico and Guatemala. In addition to confronting viewers with homicide victims, these photographers also present the families left to mourn the dead, the hospitals who attend to the traumatized, and the children who watch helplessly outside their schools. Through this multi-media installation, the Worcester Art Museum and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting feature socially-minded artists who address the real world ramifications of weapons in the contemporary world.