The last time a performance artist protested gun violence in Philadelphia, he was dressed up like a Klansman, standing silently with a sign. This next installation figures to be a little less confusing. Sunday at noon, Artists Against Gun Violence are bringing 100 Philadelphia artists to Love Park, where they’ll stage a flash mob to tout their cause.
As part of the performance, artists will gather at Love Park in Philadelphia to leave a mark…literally. At a singular moment, the performers will freeze their hands in the air, then slowly melt to the floor in a lifeless position. The participants will trace an outline of their bodies with chalk and write a word or statistic inside the form such as GUN, KATE, age 6; ENOUGH, 30,000 a year. The result-a visceral, expressionistic, literary reminder of countless lives lost.
Here’s hoping the city doesn’t clean up one of their public parks, at least not for a while. For more on the issue, check out a big state-by-state report released earlier this week by the Center for American Progress. Overall, it found that more gun violence is committed in Pennsylvania than in any other Northeastern or Mid-Atlantic state, due in large part to crimes committed in Philadelphia.