Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Steven James Brown, Disabled Gun #2, 2003, Cibachrome  20 x 30'
Steven James Brown, Disabled Gun #2, 2003
2008 Featured Exhibition

Steven James Brown
Gun Control

May 3–June 15, 2008
Brayham Contemporary Art
1270 Queen St E

When Toronto photographer, Steven James Brown,
unearthed a handful of disabled guns in a
blacksmith’s shop in Nova Scotia, he was struck by
how they resembled a work of art instead of a
collection of threatening artillery. The
photographs featured in Gun Control are
portraits
of provocative handguns that have been stripped of
their potency and destroyed for the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police.


These intriguing portraits present a compelling
sense of narrative, even though the history and
story of each gun remains unknown. Set against a
blank white backdrop, each of these portraits
resembles a stylized mug shot that criminalizes
the guns and invites the viewer to pass judgment.
Was the gun an accessory in a horrific crime, a
means of protection in a personal drama or did it
simply sit unused for a lifetime? Shot using a
large format camera, these exquisite photographs
are deliberately overexposed so that each one is
reminiscent of a drawing. Guns evoke powerful
feelings, emotions and memories. These beautifully
haunting images reflect the complex place that
these charged objects occupy within our collective
memory.

Scotiabank CONTACT
Photography Festival

80 Spadina Ave Suite 205
Toronto ON M5V 2J4
Gallery Hours
Tue-Fri 11am–5pm
The CONTACT Gallery
is wheelchair accessible.