In Guns We Trust walks the reader through a different viewpoint in gun culture, where family and recreational time completely hinges on pulling the trigger
Deep in the heart of America, one feels transported to the war-torn regions of the Middle East. The recreational use of military-grade weapons has become a cherished pastime for many aficionados. Shooting ranges host events each year attracting thousands of participants who utilize machine guns, canons, bombs and even tanks for recreation. Their targets include zombie pictures, barrels, mannequins, scrap cars and explosive charges that go off when hit. Participants see this activity both as a sport and as a way of life, connected to the American ideals of freedom and self-reliance. Jean Francois Bouchard’s photographs show this reality from a new perspective by documenting the left over relics from this recreational pastime.
Many photographers have taken an interest in gun culture in the US. Bouchard’s point of view brings to light the new extremes of military-grade weapon use and adopts a cinematic form that transforms reality into a surreal and eerie parallel world. Shot from the sky or at night, the photos become eerily beautiful. Bullet-ridden shipping containers glowing in the night, decimated vegetation and exploding or burning scrap cars show the after-effects of this fringe group’s passion for heavy weaponry.