Shooting Stars

Kerry James Marshall


Photography, 38.1 x 27.9 cm; 50.8 x 27.9 cm; 43.2 x 38.1 cm; 38.1 x 132.1 cm .
Materials: 12 colour Polaroids

Collection: Collection Smart Museum of Art - University of Chicago, Chicago.

In Shooting Stars (1994) every photograph makes a reference to the six-pointed Star of David. Shooting Stars is about the interpretation and shifts in meaning of a symbol, and how its content can change according to time, place and user. On a black-and-white polaroid from 1930 we see a Jewish girl with a yellow star, as a symbol of identification. The other polaroids present “tags” posted by gangs from various American neighborhoods, as an emblem to mark their territory. The uppermost photograph is a portrait or Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli terrorist of American origin. On February 25th, 1994, he opened fire on a group of praying Palestinians in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Goldstein was member of a group of radical Jews who took up the Jewish star to wear as a power symbols. It also became their emblem to mark their territory. The last series of photographs show the American six-pointed star that police officers wear. As a form, it has similarities to the Jewish star, but in this case it is an emblem of law enforcement. Shooting Stars reflects on the different ways this symbol is seen and used, and the complexity of meaning this brings.

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