AK47 at Artists Anonymous


Written by Shorrn Convex
28 Monday 28th January 2008

On Thursday 17 January 2008, underground art-terrorist Andy Link, otherwise known as AK47, launched his latest exhibition at the Artists Anonymous Gallery in Vyner Street, Bethnal Green. The exhibit was based around the eponymous AK47 assault rifle.

Placed in the centre of the gallery atop old-glory and in front of a huge mirror, the exhibit was intended to force people to realise their feelings and attitudes toward to the most effective killing machine ever created by man. Indeed the AK47 even rivals chickenpox in the killing loads and loads and loads and loads of humans stakes.

This guy seemed so natural and at ease with the weapon we wanted to grab him, bag him and send him off to Iraq-land to save our asses from the terrifying terrorists.

When London’s press heard about the exhibit, the city’s hacks went into overdrive with pretty much all the London papers running copy on the exhibition’s opening. The exhibition itself lasted approximately six hours before the police stormed the building and confiscated the rifle due to constant complaints from anti-violence protesters enraged at the idea of a decommissioned AK47 escaping onto London’s streets. Due to Andy having lost the original documentation, there was nothing the gallery could do to save the exhibition and the exhibition was closed down.

Just don't use the 'n' word (Nu-rave we mean - duh)

The story doesn’t end there though. The AK47, immortalised by untold wars, genocides and Hollywood movies is so iconic that even the cops couldn’t resist sneaking into the hold and messing about and posing with the weapon, eventually breaking it in the process. Forced to replace the weapon, the gallery re-opened the following Thursday with an all-new AK47 with the decommission documentation now making everything nice and legal.

"When you absolutely positively have to kill every motherfucker in the room, you only have one option."

Don’t Panic headed back down to the gallery for the grand re-opening the following Thursday and had a chat with the artist.

DP: When did you realise the cops weren’t going to let you keep the exhibit up?

AK: Pretty much when they barged in and took the gun. There wasn’t really any warning. They just kicked their way in and took the weapon.

DP: It’s a pity they can’t be as efficient at keeping working firearms off the streets as they are decommissioned ones in art galleries.

AK: That would be nice, yes.

We asked Chiara, one of the exhibit’s curators, for her opinions on the artwork.

CHIARA: The exhibit brings out different feelings in everybody. The AK47 is a gun like many others, but its design and ease of use has spurned many imitations and imitators alike. These guns are used throughout the world to bring pain and suffering to some of the world’s poorest people. It’s about what it means to each individual. We are hoping that the exhibit will open people’s eyes to what goes on in the world. We want to help end the use of child soldiers.

"Look in the mirror, son, and pretend it's an Arsenal fan..."

At this point a kid, that couldn’t have been more than ten years old, tore into the gallery and grabbed the machine gun. Everyone immediately went for their cameras and the kid (Jack) became centre of attention for the next half hour. Despite the gun’s weight and size it is conceivable that Jack could have actually used the thing to do some serious damage (if it wasn’t decommissioned, which it was). We spent the next few hours inviting people to touch and look at themselves with the rifle. Some refused to even go near it, a few were willing to touch but were so concerned with the image they saw in the mirror that they refused any photography. Some, however, took to the weapon like bonafide natural born killers…

This guy had exactly the sort of haircut a weapon like this requires.

For more info on Andy Link and his art visit his website - http://www.artkieda.com/

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at panic@dontpaniconline.com and we will respond asap.