Share the safety is an ironic promotional piece which is one and a half minutes in length. The work is very elaborate in its making, as it started in June 2016 not long after the Night Club shooting in Orlando, Florida. The project was well planned and pitched perfectly to highlight gun crime going on in America. They created a website which uses the classic retail promotion of “buy one give one” but for firearms. They even held a press release, along with promotional material and followed the standard business approach to launching a new iniative. The site caused outrage but was quickly revealed as a hoax after investigation. This did not shut the site down.
This is one of my favourite pieces in the exhibition as it is so ironic, it fits into current affairs and is controversial; it makes a strong and powerful statement, that is recognisable and applies to many situations around the world, not just the US. Within the video you can see that not only can you purchase your chosen firearm and another to donate, but also the person receiving the gun will be trained in how to use it. The film is well constructed for its promotional purpose, using music effectively and phrases commonly used in various other publicity films. It almost convinces you to think, “Maybe I should donate too?”. Just as in common donation adverts, there's a before, when they didn’t have what they needed to “survive”, and an after, when they do, which is promoted with smiles and laughing. It almost makes you warm inside until you catch yourself and realise how wrong it would be to to donate to promoting gun ownership.
If you were unaware of the fact that the video was a hoax and were viewing it for the first time without any outside influence as to what you may be watching, you’d be shocked and disgraced. I myself felt this way but was almost unsurprised by this too. Gun crime is a common problem in the USA and being able to purchase a firearm, legally or otherwise is almost too easy. Which is why I was almost unruffled by the concept presented in the promotional film and why it so pwerfully directly addresses the problems within US society. How can it be legal to purchase a firearm and not be expected that people will try to use them, whether it be in self-defence or otherwise? More guns on the streets can only create further problems, right? Like fighting fire with fire.
How much of this is fiction. is showcased at FACT until 21 May.