Man creates art by firing gun in museum

Mar 14, 2014

A new installation at the Cincinnati Art Museum juxtaposes traditional and contemporary art in an unusual way.

Artist Todd Pavlisko (left)
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Oxford, Ohio native and Miami University alum Todd Pavlisko says the goal of Crown is to make people view and experience the museum's masterpieces differently. He collaborated with a sharpshooter to fire bullets through the Schmidlapp Gallery into a brass cube. The bullet's journey was captured using high-speed cameras and edited into an audiovisual experience.

"The bullet is a docent for the art historical backdrop," says Pavlisko. "It waltzes people through the history and into modernism; and that would be the cube where the bullets came to rest. Then we'll show the whole installation amongst this institution  in its more contemporary capacity, which in my eyes, is a full circle of art history."

The installation has an immersive effect. Visitors are simultaneously watching and traversing the bullet's path while viewing the museum's most prized pieces from a new perspective.

Slow-motion video of the bullet in flight will be shown as viewers traverse along the path it traveled.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

"I've edited this video to force the objects the bullet passed to act as voyeurs for the art that is happening," says Pavlisko. "I've removed them from being the things that are looked at to becoming the things that are currently watching art take place."

It will be a unique experience for the space. - Todd Pavlisko

Pavlisko says he really enjoyed the fusion of art and science that came together to make the artwork happen. The military sharpshooter's use of physics to place each bullet into a specific point on the brass cube is the perfect example of how the work is cross-disciplinary collaboration.

"I'm passionate about this piece because it's a really diverse piece of art. It has so many levels and so many layers that I'm excited about putting it on view because it will charge the space. It will be a unique experience for the space. It talks about time and it talks about collaboration and certainly art history."

Crown opens Saturday and runs through June 15, 2014.

All the Money I Found in a Year

Pavlisko now makes his home in New York. In a second installation running concurrently he explores the plasticity of time. He collected every coin he found - on the ground, in cabs, etc - for the past ten years. He gold-plated each coin and cataloged it by year. The coins are arranged in squares and rectangles, a nod to the brass cube in Crown, on the floor of the museum's Dutch Galleries.

Pavlisko (right) watches over workers painstakingly installing the gold-plated coins.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Each coin is arranged by hand.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The work is designed as a "wry commentary on the economics of art."
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU