Paul Shambroom's work "Shrines" features in the latest issue of Blind Spot magazine.
What happens to weapons of war when they are no longer useful for their original purposes? Those that are not scrapped often are given second lives in the public sphere, mounted in places of honor in communities across the United States. Town squares, city parks, armories, VFW and American Legion posts display retired weapons from past American conflicts. Built for combat or other military functions, these objects now serve in a range of entirely different roles in their new settings: memorial, tourist attraction, retail signage, playground equipment, historic artifact.
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Acclaimed Minneapolis photographer and newly-minted University of Minnesota professor Paul Shambroom has been documenting the everyday for years.
Where most see everyday banalities—from office environments to empty city parks—Shambroom sees majesty and reflects that beauty in his photographs.
For his most recent project, Shrines: Public Weapons in America, which is showing at the U of M’s Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Shambroom photographed decommissioned weapons such as artillery and aircraft that stand as monuments to power in town squares, city parks, armories, VFW and American legion posts, and other public spaces in communities across the country.
A group exhibition dubbed Regarding Place features eight Minneapolis artists examining the notion of place using still photography—from silent film to institutional zoos.
"In My Lifetime" is meant to be a wakeup call for humanity, to help develop an understanding of the realities of the nuclear weapon, to explore ways of presenting the answers for “a way beyond” and to facilitate a dialogue moving towards resolution of this Gordian knot of nuclear weapons gripping the world. The documentary’s characters are the narrative voices, interwoven with highly visual sequences of archival and contemporary footage and animation. The story is a morality play, telling the struggle waged over the past six and half decades with the last act yet to be determined, of trying to find what is “the way beyond?”