The work Heaven Heaven Heaven by Barbara Caveng (*1963) consists of human bones in a close approximation of the original scale of a Kalashnikov AK-47. She used a shoulder blade, a thigh bone, an ulna, a radius, a humerus, a lower leg bone, a foot and a hand skeleton. The artist previously worked with materials used by other contemporary artists such as fat, felt, rags, elephant dung, snail shells, chocolate and animal bones. In the present piece, human bones are used to represent a weapon whose sole purpose is to kill people. Hundreds of millions of these fully automatic weapons are supposed to be in circulation worldwide. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Congo, the Balkan, Palestine, Syria, Egypt – the Kalashnikov is missing from no bellicose crisis.
Art can also assume the potential of a weapon and can be consciously deployed in this capacity; whether in literature or visual arts, whether commissioned for the purpose of political propaganda or autonomously. In 1928, Friedrich Wolf put it as follows: “Art today is a flood light and a weapon!”