Sight Lines: Looking at Guns Panel Discussion

  Start Date October 7
  Time 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

How do images of guns, gun culture, and gun violence shape debates about gun control? What is the difference between portraying abstract and explicit violence? How does photography, as both an evidentiary medium and an artistic tool, define and reflect the arguments on both sides?

In conjunction with our exhibition, Sight Lines: Looking at Guns, please join us for an interdisciplinary panel discussion about guns, violence, and visual culture. Panelists include exhibiting artists Garrett Hansen and Shelley Calton, as well as Xavia Karner, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Houston, and Carrie Andersen, a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies working on violence and visual culture at the University of Texas, Austin. The conversation will be moderated by Ashlyn Davis, HCP's Executive Director.

Garrett Hansen graduated from Grinnell College, where he studied economics and political science. He completed his MFA in photography at Indiana University and has taught at several universities in the United States and in Asia; he is now an Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Kentucky. Garrett has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Indonesia, and Japan.

Throughout her practice, Texas-based photographer Shelley Calton has made it her niche to reflect on the collective female experience and the resulting subcultures, whether it is photographing roller derby girls or the delicate artifacts associated with femininity. Her first book, Hard Knocks, Rolling with the Derby Girls was published in 2009 and her second book, Concealed, She’s Got a Gun, was released in spring of 2015. A portrait from Concealed was chosen for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Thirty images from Concealed were exhibited at Zoom Photo Festival in Quebec in October 2014. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the National Portrait Gallery, London, as well as private collections. Featured articles and interviews have been written in The New York Times Lens, The Daily, Newsweek Japan,, Slate, The Business Insider, and global, live interviews on BBC World Service and BBC TV America.

Visual sociologist, Tracy Xavia Karner, is an expert in how people use visual media to understand themselves and their worlds. An award winning teacher and a nationally-known expert in the field of qualitative sociology, she explores the social contexts of image creation and dissemination as well as their role in everyday visual sociability. Dr. Karner’s recent writings investigate photography in fine art venues and everyday uses, such as Facebook, and have been published in both popular and academic venues. She is currently the Chair of the Sociology Department at University of Houston and teaches courses in Visual Sociology, Sociology of Art and Sociology of Culture.

Active in the Houston photography community since 2007, Professor Karner serves on the Advisory Board of Houston Center for Photography, is a supporter and past officer of Photo Forum at Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and served as a reviewer for Fotofest's 2010 Meeting Place. She is currently working on a book, Passion, Possibility, and Photography: Creating an Art World in Houston, Texas which chronicles forty years of the Houston photography community, from its inception to its development as an internationally significant destination for photography.

Carrie Andersen is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research examines the intersections among technology, media, and politics, with an emphasis on military technologies and violence. She has published her research inSurveillance and Society and Game Studies. She is also an instructor at UT and teaches courses about political ideology and American culture.

Related Exhibition:
Sight Lines: Looking at Guns

Level Introductory