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Letterpress print on paper using a polymer plate and handset wood type editioned on Mullowney Printing’s Vandercook Letterpress. Printed by Paul Mullowney and Erin McAdams in an edition of 50 plus proofs. Signed and numbered on the recto in pencil. Sheet: 20 x 15 inches unframed. Co-published by BOXBLUR, Catharine Clark Gallery, and Mullowney Printing, San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR.
The letterpress print “DISARM” is based on a video titled “113…” (2019), an ambitious and immersive 7-channel video installation that documented and commemorated every high school mass shooting in the United States between the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 and the end of 2018. Employing aerial shots of football fields and surrounding neighborhoods of these schools, Oropallo and Rappaport evoke a different kind of American iconography — one that highlights, both visually and sonically, the contrast between the innocence and joy of youth and the horrors of gun violence.
The underlying map depicted in the letterpress print is the Columbine campus. The oval target shape is set over the oval football field. There have been 113 school shootings between April 20, 1999 and the end of 2018. That number of bullet holes dotted the page of the first print in the edition; with each subsequent edition, the artists removed the “shots,” as a metaphor for both the repetition and the disarming of weapons.