Art addresses the international arms trade issue
While working on one of his forthcoming feature film, South African artist and film maker Ralph Ziman collaborated with several artists in Johannesburg to create a side project that aimed at addressing the international arms trade. ‘Ghosts’, is a series of photographs featuring 200 beaded guns and ammunition sculptures created by 6 Zimbabwean artisans commissioned by Ziman. The sculptures are made from traditional African beads and wire and are replicas of AK-47s and general purpose machine guns (GPMGs). After the sculptures were finished, Ziman did a photo shoot of the artists as the subjects holding their creations. Other subjects consisted of several construction workers who happened to witness the shoot, and a member of the South African Police Services who just wanted his picture taken.
The project confronts the complex socioeconomic and political circumstances of the African arms trade – a multinational, multibillion dollar industry that moves in one direction only – into Africa.
‘Ghosts’, featuring the gun sculptures, installations, and photographs will be on display at C.A.V.E Gallery in Los Angeles from 8th February until 2nd March 2014.