In relation to her role as curator of the traveling exhibition “UNLOADED,” Professor Susanne Slavick was part of a roundtable discussion titled “The Politics, Ethics, and Aesthetics of Exhibitions about Guns” published in the Journal of Visual Culture. The discussion also includes curators Atteqa Ali (“Playing with a Loaded Gun: Contemporary Art in Pakistan,” apexart, 2003), Jonathan Ferrara (“Guns in the Hands of Artists,” various venues, 2014–2018), Kathy O’Dell (“Gun Show,” Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, 2017).
Professor Slavick writes, “As violence is unfortunately central to human experience, art cannot help but make it visible. Curators cannot ignore how violence is embedded in our culture, but must strive to lay proper groundwork and sufficiently contextualize exhibits involving its portrayal, selecting work with care. Without second-guessing curatorial intentions, recent museum controversies have arisen through insufficient preparation or community engagement around issues of current or past violence.”