I'm working on my final project for the year: a look at an extremely large refugee camp that existed on the Thai-Cambodian border from about 1979 to 1993. The camp held up to 200 000 Khmer refugees in a space of about 3 square miles.
In any case, it's not done yet. You can find some good pictures on the Internet in a few places:
But, mainly, I recalled once taking pictures for my student newspaper of this amazing gun sculpture built from 7000 deactivated weapons. You could actually step inside and see bits of light shining through from the outside. But it's the creepiest thing in the world. The gunpowder smell hadn't left it at that point, and it was like standing inside some kind of death. It was just overwhelming. Anyhow, if you ever get a chance to see it, do it.
I've been really affected by this photo and link since you posted it. If we love Herzog and DeMueron for blowing open the doors of material, this is a photo I add to that asenal of material reference.
rooms of gun. Amazing.
You noted the atmospheric of gunpowder smell. what did that do to you?
Any "experience" musings appreciated. Thanks for the insight and the post.
Well, to start, if you look at their exhibition requirements and some of the pics in galleries, you can get a sense of what the whole deal is like. It's usually centered in a quite large room with a high ceiling; a few spotlights are aimed at it. The rest of the room has hanging screens that are projected onto with images and info. I don't remember if there was music playing or not, but there may have been some sound associated with the projection.
It was very quiet when I was there, since it was a special appointment made for the newspaper. It is a very solid piece and conveys substantial weight. You're of course not supposed to touch it, but it's very tactile anyway in the sense that, for someone like me who's never fired a gun, you don't want to touch it; while it conveys heaviness, it also embodies volatility in the way it all just seems to be glommed together. There are still inscriptions and writing on the weapons, which makes them all the more real.
I think there is a single halogen light inside, or maybe there's nothing (I don't remember). I do remember being able to see light peek through cracks in the walls from outside though. The smell is just a bit overwhelming is all. It's not a "clean" piece. The guns still look dirty and it all smells. I can't really describe the gunpowder smell if you haven't smelled it before. I guess it's a bit like matches, but multiplied many times. It's asphyxiating.