Human Nature – a Potato Gun experiment

Human Nature – a Potato Gun Experiment,  April 2014, De Beemster, the Netherlands

For Easter of 2014, I was asked by Kunstroute Beemster to devise a group show together with visual artists Anne-Marie van Meel and Robbert Weide. We were asked to exhibit in and around the potatofarm of Evert Konijn. Inspired by the roughness of both the barn and the potatoes, I chose to make a powerful work, an illegal weapon: the potato gun.

I asked visitors to write down a word on a big piece of paper. It could be anything, as long as they’d want to use it as target practice. After each participant taped his or her own word to the wall of potato boxes that Evert had built specially for the occasion, they were handed an old potato and the gun, which they then loaded and fired themselves using a can of  hairspray and an everyday gas stove igniter.

The project was meant to confront people with an object that was purposely built to inflict violence. Needless to say, it was interesting to watch people react to the gun. Most people showed some mix of curiousity and eagerness to try it themselves, but some were too scared and a few refused to participate on religious grounds: it was Sunday, the day of the Lord.


Auteursrecht/Copyright Claudia Mulder 2020