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Shooting a bullet for art -- cutting edge or dangerous?

September 28, 2012|By Deborah Vankin
  • The Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio
The Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio (Courtesy Cincinnati Art…)

An upcoming art exhibit at Cincinnati Art Museum is so cutting edge, it had to be vetted by a group of lawyers, insurance companies, curators and registrars.

The art project? A highly skilled marksman will shoot a bullet through the museum’s Schmidlapp Gallery and into a 36-inch bronze block. The idea is to photograph the bullet itself in motion — something conceptual artist Todd Pavlisko will do with  high-speed cameras and video.  

The resulting exhibit, “Crown,” will showcase the bullet images as well as the bronze block itself.

Museum director Aaron Betsky says the project isn’t dangerous. The shooting will not be open to the public and the bullet won’t come closer than 12 feet to any works of art.

“We found out that according to City Hall we did not need a special permit to do this, and we are within all the laws of the city and the county,” Betsky said, according to “We’re talking about one of the world’s most accurate marksmen, who will stand or crouch by a high-powered rifle, designed for high-range accuracy. … We made very sure that this was an appropriate activity.”

The project was officially approved Tuesday and will be on display by the end of the year.


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