Utne Blogs > Arts and Culture

Shear Terror

by Staff


Tags: sculpture, Christopher Locke, spiders, Transportation Security Administration, airport, security, screeners, scissors,

It’s a brilliantly simple idea. Artist Christopher Locke purchased scissors that had been confiscated by airport security screeners, then bent and welded them into metallic sculptures of spiders. One of his more recent models is even articulated and poseable.

Some of the scissors were permitted by regulation but had been deemed a possible threat by Transportation Security Administration screeners, who have wide latitude to confiscate. If these scissors posed an ambiguous threat before, Locke clarified it. Peruse the portfolio on his website and, aside from the imposing arachnids, you’ll discover bug sculptures made from confiscated multi-tools and Swiss army knives.

In all, Locke’s sculptures put me in mind—as they may be intended to—of the period after the September 11 attacks, when the descriptor “low-tech, high-concept” was applied to the use of aircraft as missiles. By manipulating mere scissors into blade-wielding spiders, Locke has sculpted an emblem for our association of terror with the reshaping of everyday objects as extravagant weapons.

(Thanks, Reason.)

Michael Rowe