COUPTURE beats swords into ploughshares. The steel, brass and aluminum droppings from rifles, handguns and shotguns pile up worldwide: It must be every second that a gun is fired. The ejecta glint in the sun and rust in rains. Each cartridge a fallen kernel of grain, its germ discharged, run to seed.
Coupture exempts them from recycling and rebirth, offers them a conditional discharge or conscientious objectorship. Made into accessories (not to say “attackcessories”), perhaps they glorify revolution in the same way that Che Guevara does: in vain and emptily, and for the profit of the unlicensed that use them.
But no! Coupture will not be coopted by the market, and as such is not for sale. It will not let the story of each cartridge be effaced. For better or worse (usually worse), each was made for a reason: this brass Egyptian cartridge stamped “Misr” made in 1958 by men knowing there would soon be war with Israel is TIG-welded to a bland Russian steel commercial round, made in a former Soviet factory for use from Afghanistan to Arkansas. Disjunctions abound, but such is the business of weaponry, and so it is with fashion—where a Stalinist guerrilla can become the denatured figurehead of change subverted, worn over imitation camouflage patterned into a garment too impractical for the military and too shoddy for service.
Coupture also adopts the smashed glass of broken windows, of civilization rent by gunfire. Melted and nestled into the primer cavities of a Tito-era casing is the glass of a school window, a car window, eyeglasses crushed in a fall. Perhaps the garnish is the stained glass blown out of a church, as in former Yugoslavia.
Coupture reminds the U.S. of its draft into ongoing sub rosa wars. We all continue to fight with every tax dollar spent, every penny (itself an amalgam of copper and zinc=brass) melted and extruded into a shell which is packed with gunpowder and crowned with a bullet. These in turn are the coin of a new realm, “Ammo: The Currency of the New Millennium,” and those restless for sharp change hoard brass if not gold—or both.
Coupture throws its arms up at the canard of world peace. But it can face the lie, literalize it, shove the Cross of Iron in the face of milquetoasted leftist pacifism. Passivism, et passim.
For the full gallery of Coupture photos, visit www.alexfethiere.com