On the Threat Assessment series
The Threat Assessment series explores the imagery of 20th-century carnival shooting galleries and continues my investigation of the way fear manifests itself in the material objects of our culture.
I was in the early stages of developing the series when the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut occurred on December 14, 2012. I attended Sandy Hook Elementary School as a child and listened to the news reports in my studio that day with an eerie fascination, knowing intimately the locations and the path of the killer took through the school.
While this event would not shape the look of the works or inform my decision to use the shooting gallery imagery, it radically altered the context in which I was making these works and strengthened my resolve and commitment to create them. As the series has developed over the past two years I have given all the works titles related to the news coverage of the events: Seduction of the Innocent, The Ideal Classroom, There is No Danger, Threat Assessment, Early Warning Signs, Red Flag, Sight Picture, and Active Shooter.
Executed at a 1:1 scale to the original objects, they are made through process of paper inlay. The white elements are removed from blank rolls of heavy watercolor paper and the remaining paper is then soaked in ink and dried on large screens. After being mounted to panels the white areas are pasted back into the black paper, creating a seamless surface of matte black and unblemished white paper. The final effect maintains the sensitivity of the paper surface, a delicacy that stands in contrast to the imagery of the drawings.