Design and Violence


Raphaël Dallaporta, 2004

Beautiful and dangerous

This series of photographs shows the variety of different anti-personnel landmine designs. The beauty and stillness of the weapons is in contrast to their embedded potential for sudden and indiscriminate violence. Typically, anti-personnel mines are used to severely injure and maim rather than kill the victim, thereby increasing logistical complications for the enemy, such as rescue operations and use of medical resources in combat zones. Care has gone into their design to calibrate this level of violence effectively. Such mines can be laid by hand, by land or air vehicles, or distributed by artillery shell. With international campaigns for the eradication of landmines that can linger hidden for decades, indiscriminately killing people and animals, they are recognised as an insidious form of warfare. Here, the viewer is invited to reflect on the design of these deadly devices as they would other products displayed at their best.

Image: Antipersonnel © 2004 Raphaël Dallaporta, courtesy of the artist and Jean-Kenta Gauthier (Paris)