For the upcoming exhibit Silent. Silence.Silenced at Atlantic Works Gallery in Boston, I will be suspending a dozen cannonballs, similar to the one pictured, that were cast from Cannonballs used in the Ottoman siege of Italy in 1480.
The work was realized by a particular process to preserve the antiquities, which are on display in the museum of the Aragon Castle of Otranto. I pressed layers of particular paper upon the surface of cannonballs and then left the wet paper to dry in the sunlight. The intention was to embrace not only the texture of the cannonball but also to capture the essence of the weapon, the energy embedded within the material, and to transfer that energy into the sculptures.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY BEHIND THE CANNONBALLS SIEGE
The bombardment of Otranto, via the capture of Constantinople thirty years earlier, signaled the end of the brutish Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. All made possible because of a gun.
The Ottomans used huge bombard cannons and had gunpowder. No one else had gunpowder at the time. The combination of gunpowder, cannon and cannonballs made it impossible to seek safe shelter behind the walls of a 100-year old castle The bombards were cast out of bronze and could hurl huge stone cannon balls weighing up to 1,500 pounds several miles. After one shot, the barrel was cooled with oil in order for it to be fired again. This cooling process took about an hour and was considered too slow.