Does Size Matter?
Thursday, Feb 16, 2017, 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Walter and McBean Galleries
800 Chestnut St

Thomas Powell is a sculptor, writer and art history lecturer. His essay on art and politics have appeared in Bad Subjects, Intl. Critical Thought, Intelligence: top secret, Socialism and Democracy.

"American cinema is the pre-eminent fountainhead of Judeo-Christian cultural narrative spewing boundlessly out of North America to be disbursed throughout global human culture. Why then are there so many guns scenes in American movies and television shows? Why are gun episodes a necessity of plot development in so many Hollywood films? What is the gun use subtext? What are the gun mythologies endlessly repeated? And is this extraordinary?

Through movie stills and posters we will examine the American gun narrative as presented in film. Common film genres such as Westerns and gangster noir have evolved gun stereotypes. What is the ideological message being disseminated to mass culture? How does the film presentation of guns, gun fights including cold-blooded murder, mold our gun laws? What impact does visual gun violence in film have on our social crises of domestic violence and tragic gun accidents with children? How has gun mythology impacted American foreign policy? This slide lecture presented by Thomas Powell crams a semester of film theory into one hour."


This event is part of series of open call events in conjunction with A Living Thing an interactive exhibition platform featuring programming developed in collaboration with members of the SFAI community: students, staff, faculty, and the general public. 

A Living Thing seeks to create space for common ground within our increasingly fractured civil discourse. Throughout its run, A Living Thing will offer a sanctuary for conversations, performances, debate, and acts of solidarity and resistance—through an open mic during all gallery hours, and this open call to students, artists, activists, citizens, residents, visitors, and others that wish to contribute to the life represented by the flag.

 SFAI invites participation in A Living Thing. Please visit to submit your ideas. 

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