Soft Series: The AK

Hand-sewn replica of the AK47 rifle on a scale of 1:1; satin, sesame seeds; photo of model with rifle, prints available in multiple sizes. 2015

This piece is a follow-up of the Walther Plush5 gun I made for Festival De Basis in 2014 in which I took the attributes of the crochet guns to the extreme. More fleshy pink, more softness, more uselessness…

About the Soft Series in general:
The soft series are a series of weapons made of fabric, which I started in 2015 with a scale 1:1 replica of a Kalashnikov rifle. With these objects I want to search for the contrast between the original and current state of each weapon: harmful and deadly versus soft and totally useless, except for its visual beauty. All weapons are hand-sewn, this way I want to create a parallel between the designers and makers of the original weapons and the ones I am making now. It’s extremely difficult to design and create a well-functioning weapon and therefore it takes a lot of time, care and dedication to complete it. I also find it very interesting to see what kind of love-hate relationship some weapon designers had with their creations: Mikhail Kalashnikov, for example, felt extremely guilty for the last decades of his life because his deadly invention was just too successful. For him it was a continuous struggle with his conscience of what he had done.

The rifle started to live a life on its own and has now become the subject of the photo above. Special thanks goes to Anne Fruytier for modelling.

This work is made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Fund.