Stories in Bullet Holes

Andrei Belibou writes a second post for our project On holes and other absences. Perhaps I find this the most intruiguing link with holes and politics. Bullets are very material, solid, hot and grey “things” of death. Depending how lucky you are or have been, you may or may not had to look into the forensics of bullets to figure out weather or not you had dodged a lethal encounter. The holes bullets leave, however, are very much charged with narrative, and narrative is a strategy of life. Andrei surveys a myriad of examples of how bullet holes relate to story telling and practices of memory.

Losing Ground

A Google search for ‘bullet holes’ returns a majority of results of stock photos, free images, and decals. They are weird apparitions, bullet holes in nothing: just black circles, with drawings of stripped paint around them, on monochrome (mostly white) backgrounds. Holes are lacks, dug or made in substances, yet these ‘bullet holes’ are disembodied, not in anything. They prove a weird fascination with bullet holes themselves: marks of violence, instantly recognisable, a symbol that we can all read with no context. And, as we dig a little through Google, a symbol that we can sell: a Copenhagen bar allows patrons to see the bullet holes from the execution of a WWII informant if they buy a shot (pun intended by them), while one of Andy Warhol’s portraits of Mao, with two bullet holes left by Dennis Hooper, sold for more than $300,000.

Why do bullet holes sell? They…

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