A sombre poster show from Amsterdam studio Banana and Associates, designer Anthony Burrill and photographer Robbie Augspurger aims to highlight the number of lives lost each year to gun violence in the US…
Innocent Targets (open this Sunday at Protein Studios in London) is a series of portraits of individuals, each one displayed with a shooting range ‘target’ printed over it. The images are by Augspurger, the posters designed by Burrill.
The idea plays on the notion of the shooting range target, the majority of which depict deadly foes for gun fans to aim and fire at – aliens, thugs, bad guys basically. But the truth, of course, as messaged on the posters, is that in real life the targets are more often than not just ordinary people.
Alongside the images of happy everyday folk, the posters feature stats that place America’s gun culture firmly in the spotlight. For example, while Americans own, it’s claimed, 70 million dogs, they also own 270 million guns. ‘Twice as many women are shot by their husbands than by strangers’ reads one poster; another states that ‘There are roughly 60,000 pizzerias in America and 120,000 gun dealerships’.
Making posters to combat gun violence might seem merely gestural, particularly when the images are for now only on display in an east London gallery, but – significantly – they are available for purchase at innocent-targets.com with proceeds going to The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence. The jarring combination of text and images will, it’s clearly hoped, make some people stop and think as well.
Banana and Associates is a creative studio led by international creative directors Ewoudt Boonstra and Zack McDonald. Innocent Targets is at Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3AY this Sunday (11am-5pm). See studio2gallery.co.uk
In response to questions here and elsewhere about the ethnic make-up of the people featured in the posters, we went back to the organisers and asked why no non-white people are featured. Here’s their response:
“More than a few people have commented on the fact that we have only included white people in the series of posters, Innocent Targets.
To us, the focus on skin colour was a bit surprising and we feel that it misses the point we were trying to make. The aim was to show clear archetypes that we encounter on a daily basis. A friend who loves vinyl records, the guy who delivers our pizzas, a new bride…
Our focus wasn’t the colour of their skin but rather their simple, distinctive character types. Our intent was simply to remind people of the thousands of innocent lives lost to the deadly gun culture in America.
We hope that the majority of people out there can understand this message and hopefully contribute to what we believe is a very important cause.”