Typewriters revolutionized the way we write and guns changed the wars we fight, yet it can’t be denied that both are artifacts of tremendous cultural impact, despite the dramatic differences in function. This notion helps illuminate the peculiar Typewriter Guns of Québécois artist Eric Nado, a sculptural series of typewriters transformed to look like guns.
Thankfully non-functional, Nado’s guns seem like strange weaponry from the future, due to their brilliantly vibrant hues and the protruding typewriter parts that seem like alien steampunk appendages in this technological recontextualization. This may be partially an aesthetic choice, but it also relates to the artist’s desire to fully recycle the typewriters. In his project statement, Nado iterates that every piece of the typewriters were re-incorporated into the guns, an almost eerie vein of sustainability given how convincingly dangerous these sculptures look.
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What motivated Nado to create this body of work is surprising. “When I was young, I used to play with my mother’s typewriter,” he tells Creators. “The sound of the keys evoked, for me, the sound of guns going off. It is this memory that initiated in me, years later, a new obsession, fueled by what were now years of experience in technical manifestations of art.”
“I wondered, could it be possible to transform these evocative machines into representations of a gun arsenal?” he adds. “My intuition was that it could be done and the objective was to do so by deconstructing and reconstructing solely the pieces of one typewriter at a time, making each and every gun an art piece with a history in itself.”
Although the memory of his mother typing is central to the project, history also plays an important role in this body of work. Even though he believes the viewer should interpret the works as their mind desires, Shapiro does have an overarching conceptual narrative of his own. “Since Gutenberg, traces of history have been found in pages and bookshelves for readers. In some way, the Typewriter Guns link words and arms together, evoking that words are stronger than guns and tie the history of press with the history of war.”
For more information about Eric Nado’s Typewriter Guns, head over to his website, here.
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