Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wounded in America

Shootings don't just happen on the wrong side of town to bad people, everybody knows that. Yet the collection of first hand accounts of shooting victims, self inflicted and otherwise, accompanied by photographs of the victims that is now on display at Gallery 37 is a compelling and sometimes intense exhibition. Bob Rea's large black and white prints, some of a return to the scene of the crime, show the diversity and often bravery of shooting victims. The collection of narratives gathered by Stephanie Arena is as moving as the prints. I was especially shaken by one victim's story. She survived several point blank shots to the head from her boyfriend who lived in a trailer in her driveway. She had just asked him to leave. He left; came back and shot her more than once; she played dead; he put a pillow over her head and shot her again; and then he remained in the house for hours planning his next moved which apparently from his handwritten notes entailed packing her in his trunk and dumping her some place. Imagining how she survived that could lead people to religion.

As a bonus, Tricia Moreau Sweeney (my lovely wife) has nine prints on display in the adjacent gallery. This is work that recently appeared at Schopf Gallery. If you didn't get a chance to see it then, I highly encourage you to see both shows.

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