AKA Peace launched at ICA London until Sunday 30th September

On Wednesday evening a crowded space at the ICA hosted the launch of AKA Peace, a new project curated by Jake Chapman in collaboration with non-profit organisation Peace One Day

Sean Pertwee, Simon Anderson and James Gold, founders of Pertwee Anderson and Gold Gallery in Soho, are among the organisers of the project that involves Amnesty International and award winning photographer Bran Symondson; the British photographer served as soldiers in the British Army  in Afghanistan, where he could see how many Afghan police had adorned their rifles with flowers, stickers and paint.

Copyright AKA Peace photo

Taking inspiration from these images he conceived the idea of turning the lethal weapons into something beautiful: the artworks on show are previously decommissioned AK-47 rifles, customised and reinterpreted by leading UK and international artists including Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley, Sam Taylor-Wood, Nancy Fotus, Langlands and Bell, Gavin Turk, Jake and Dino Chapman.

Don’t Touch_Nancy Fotus

One of the most expressive piece is Nancy Fotus’ s Don’t Touch, a silver-plated thorns studded AK-47 rifle, showing once again how ironic and humourous her works are; on the contrary Hirst’s Spin AK47 reminded the visitor the somehow constant repetition in his creations, a mass-production variation of the initial and brilliant concept, dating back to his students years.

Spin AK47 for Peace One Day_Damien Hirst

Antony Gormley’s Silence is the piece that perhaps best responded to the commission in terms of quality of the artwork: the lightness of the suspended human figure is brilliantly counter-pointed by the harshness of the suicidal silhouette, projecting its shadow on the wall.

Silence_Antony Gormley

The exhibition will be opened at ICA on The Mall in London only for 5 days until Sunday 30th September, then the guns will be sold at the auction house Phillips De Pury on October 4th.

The project, which coincides with Peace Day: Friday 21 September, aims to raise awareness of Peace Day and raise funds for Peace One Day’s Globe Truce 2013 campaign.