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Shampaigne .mp4

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HD Video ∞ 3:55, 24fps

by Micah Hesse, 2017

The cover of Charlie Hebdo magazine, shortly after the shooting at their office, declared: "Ils ont les armes, on les emmerde, on a le champagne!" (They have weapons, fuck them, we have champagne), below a comic of a man riddled in bullet holes with champagne flowing out.

Linking US gun lobbyists and super-gun-collectors, those who claim: "Guns don’t kill people, people kill people" (and represent 3% of all gun possession, with 17 or more guns each), implying that a gun, on its own, is incapable of inflicting harm unless in the hands of a bad guy. And asks: What if guns were indeed the ‘bad guys’, and a ‘bad gun’ got its hands on a revolver? Throughout the four minute video animation Hesse explores guns as independent entities with their own agency, challenging the above notion, and exploring the psychological reaction created by the loaded presence of a firearm.

At the same time, Hesse is fascinated by the aesthetics of fetishized arrangements of firearms in the arsenals of super-gun-owners/collectors.The opening sequence of 'Shampaigne' examines formal displays of weapons within a museum environment, including two jewel encrusted revolvers sitting interlocked like a sculpture: one fires at the sky. A piece of cartoon sky falls to the ground, evoking the idiom "The sky is falling!" from the folk tale ‘Henny Penny’ indicating a hysterical belief that disaster is imminent. To Hesse the champagne that we have, is a mixture of ‘real’ and ‘sham pain’.

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