Snapshots of the nuclear age

19 Nov

From Our Colorado News, October 18, 2012

Rocky Flats may be closed, but its effects still cast a shadow
By Clarke Reader, Photo by Andy Carpenean

In an effort to offer a place for discussion from all parties, and to show all generations what the birth and progression of the nuclear age looked like, the Rocky Flats Cold War Museum has opened in Olde Town Arvada, 5612 Yukon St.

“We want to show the story of Rocky Flats from multiple perspectives — the environmental issues, the life of the workers and the people who protested it,” said Conny Bogaard, project manager. “The goal is to build a platform where the community can come together to examine the legacy.”
The museum’s inaugural exhibit is “Behind the Atom Curtain: Life and Death in the Nuclear Age,” an Atomic Photographers Guild collection of photos of the landscapes, people and aftermaths of nuclear testing and power plants. The exhibit runs through Nov. 30.

The exhibit is curated by Robert Del Tredici, the founder of the Atomic Photographers Guild, and features not only photos of the history of Rocky Flats, but also of the Trinity Explosion in Alamogordo, N.M., and photos from Yoshito Matsushige, the only photographer allowed to photograph Hiroshima after the bombing.
The social impacts are also documented with photos of protests after the disasters at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima.
“This exhibit is partly a story of Colorado and local concerns, but it also shows the global concern,” Bogaard said.

Local photographer Carole Gallagher, who has spent years documenting the lives of those affected by nuclear use, has a display of her works about people who lived near the testing in Nevada.
Gallagher, who grew up in New York City, said she was raised during the time of great fear of a nuclear strike being imminent.

“I always wondered what happened to the people who lived near the testing areas,” she said. “So in my work I focused on workers, downwinders and atomic veterans.”
Gallagher said she really came to admire the workers at these sites, who really put their lives on the line for their country. Many of Gallagher’s stark, black and white photos, show people who lived in Nevada while nuclear tests were going on and were told that they were safe, only to develop a wide-range of health issues, including a variety of cancers and bone diseases.
“This exhibit really has captured the first moments of the nuclear age, and when it will end we don’t know,” Gallagher said.

Bogaard is careful to note that the museum and its exhibit is not a condemnation of nuclear power or Rocky Flats, but is a place that brings to light issues about nuclear use that still are up for debate.
“We raise a lot of questions, and it’s not necessarily about having the answers,” she said. “Instead, we want it to be something people think and talk about, and come away with a new understanding.”

The museum is open noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information call 720-287-1717 or visit www.rockyflatsmuseum.org.

Rocky Flats Cold War Museum Exhibition

10 Sep

Invitation to Atomic Photographers Exhibition Opening/Fundraiser Sept. 28

You are cordially invited to the opening of a photographic exhibition by the Atomic Photographers Guild: Behind the Atom Curtain: Life and Death in the Nuclear Age, on Friday, Sept. 28th from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Rocky Flats Cold War Museum, 5612 Yukon Street, Olde Town Arvada.

The Atomic Photographers Guild is an international group of photographers dedicated to making visible all aspects of the nuclear age. Founded 15 years ago by renowned photographer Robert Del Tredici, author of At Work in the Fields of the Bomb, the project initially focused on documenting nuclear factories and reactors throughout the USA, the former USSR, Canada and Europe. The Guild has since expanded dramatically and currently includes 26 members from all over the world, each having their own focus of interest. Special attention will be given to the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. For 36 years, Rocky Flats produced the plutonium triggers needed for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Del Tredici’s photos depict Rocky Flats near the start and toward the end of its operations.

Flanking the Rocky Flats photographic display are iconic images of first atomic photographers, Berlyn Brixner, photographer of the Trinity explosion at Alamogordo, NM, and Yoshito Matsushige, the only photographer to photograph inside Hiroshima, Japan, the day of the 1945 bombing. Other photographers focus on such nuclear issues as uranium processing, nuclear power, atomic testing and modern nuclear warhead deployments. The social and cultural impact of the nuclear age is addressed by focusing on the aftermath of nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Tickets are $20 per person for the opening event with a gallery talk by Del Tredici at 7 p.m. as well as food, drink and live music. RSVP by Sept. 24th through email to Conny Bogaard, Project Director, at cbogaard@rockyflatsmuseum.net

More information on the Atomic Photographers Guild can be found at: http://atomicphotographers.com/. For more information about the exhibit, visit: http://www.rockyflatsmuseum.org For parking information in the museum’s vicinity, visit: http://oldetownarvada.org/pdfs/downtown-arvada-parking-map.pdf

Seattle Exhibition

10 Sep

Behind the Atom Curtain to be shown at the MAM, Rio De Janeiro

2 Jun

Image

Behind the Atom Curtain: Foto Freo Divergence Exhibition

20 Apr

From the 14th of March to the 15th of April the Atomic Photographers Guild exhibited their group show Behind the Atom Curtain: Life and Death in the Nuclear Age as part of the ‘Divergence: Photographs from Elsewhere’ exhibition at the massive Midland Atelier warehouse in Midland, Perth, as part of the biannual month-long photography festival FotoFreo. Around 500 people attended the opening night of all the exhibitions; which also included works by Martin Parr, Sohrab Hura, Bharat Sikka, Sam Harris, Chandan Ahuja (India), Nigel Bennet (Italy/UK), Ellen Bornkessel (Germany), Sara Jane Boyers (USA), Vita Buivid (Russia), Sundari Carmody (Australia), Neil Chowdhury (USA), Martin Cox (USA), Jagath Dheerasekara (Australia/Sri Lanka), Catarina Diedrich (Spain), Eva Fernandez (Australia), Andrew George (USA), Denis Glennon AO (Australia), Natalie Grono (Australia), Alan Hill & Kelly Hussey-Smith (Australia), Edwin Janes (Australia), Rhea Karam (USA/Lebanon), Munish Khanna (India), Andrej Kocis (Australia), David Manley (Australia), Prudence Murphy (Australia), Matthew Newton (Australia), Sarah Rhodes (Australia), Maurizio Salvati (Australia), Jan Schuenke (Germany), Flavia Schuster (Argentina)
Natasha Shulte (Ukraine), Marc Shoul (South Africa), Lia Steele (Australia), Michael Stone (Australia), Gemma-Rose Turnbull (Australia), Salih Urek (Turkey), Elizabeth Wintle (UK), Josh Wodak (Australia)
Art Wolfe (USA).

The public program on Saturday the 17th of March was a day long event dedicated to artists’ talks. The APG’s only Australian photographer, Jessie Boylan, spoke first up in the morning to over 30 people. The exhibition received great interest, with many people being unaware of the issues represented in the work beyond a superficial level.

A review of the whole of Divergence show can be found here.

Jessie Boylan gives a talk as part of the Atomic Photographers Guild


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Atomic Photographers exhibit in Australia

29 Feb

The Atomic Photographers Guild are exhibiting Behind the Atom Curtain: Life and Death in the Nuclear Age, as part of Divergence, Photographs from ElsewhereA monumental showcase of photography by over sixty photographers from fifteen countries at the historic Midland Railway Workshops site in Perth, Western Australia, from the 14th of March to the 15th of April, as part of the FotoFreo festival.

Click here to read an interview with Bob Del Tredici and Jessie Boylan about the by FORM Gallery in Perth: Page 9
About the exhibition:
Founded by photographer Robert Del Tredici in 1987, the Atomic Photographers Guild is an international grass-roots collective of photographers dedicated to making visible all aspects of the nuclear age.

Behind the Atom Curtain: Life and Death in the Nuclear Age features the work of 24 members of the Atomic Photographers Guild, including Berlyn Brixner and Yoshito Matsushige, Guild elders — Brixner having photographed the first atomic explosion in the Alamogordo Desert; and Matsushige, the sole photographer in Hiroshima the day the A-bomb exploded overhead; Robert Del Tredici (the US Nuclear Weapons Complex, Canadian uranium), Kenji Higuchi (Japanese Nuclear Power), Carole Gallagher (Atomic Veterans & Utah & Nevada Downwinders), Harris Fogel (the Trinity Site), Gunter Zint (mass demonstrations against German nuclear installations), Yuri Kuidin (opposition to Soviet nuclear tests), Dan Budnik (uranium mining in the American Southwest), Patrick Nagatani (nuclear realities in the American Southwest ), James Lerager (Atomic Veterans, Chernobyl), Peter Goin (nuclear landscapes), Paul Shambroom (nuclear weapons post-Cold War), James Crnkovich (US nuclear pop culture), Blake Fitzpatrick (the Port Hope uranium refinery in Ontario), Nancy Floyd (nuclear power workers in California), John Hooton (missile silos in North Dakota), Igor Kostin, David McMillan, and Vaclav Vasku (Chernobyl), Barbara Norfleet (nuclear landscapes), Jessie Boylan (nuclear tests in Australia), and elin o’Hara slavick (Hiroshima).

This exhibit first opened at the Sol Mednick Gallery at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia last fall. Curated by Robert Del Tredici and Harris Fogel, it presented a variety of aesthetic, cultural, scientific, and conceptual responses to the challenge of the nuclear age. In November of 2011 the show opened in Vienna in the Sala Terena Gallery at the University of Applied Arts. This is its third venue, co-curated by Guild member Jessie Boylan of Melbourne, Australia.

Each photographer focuses on different facets of the nuclear age. From portraits of the founders of the nuclear era to contemporary nuclear scientists, from to the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island to the full meltdown at Chernobyl and the tattered social fabric around Fukushima, from survivors of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and above-ground atomic tests to all the H-bomb factories of the US, Behind the Atom Curtain lifts the veil on nuclear landscapes and cultures throughout America, Europe, Russia, and Japan.

It addresses history’s deadliest nuclear accident, still unfolding, in Fukushima, by featuring the work of Kenji Higuchi of Tokyo. Higuchi has for forty years been the preeminent photographer of Japan’s nuclear workers. Guild members have in common the aim to capture the heft, grit and impact of the nuclear age  — an age that has altered the course of history but exists so covertly that most people think of the Bomb as an abstraction. The Guild releases its images in books, on gallery walls, and over the web so others can piece together the fragments of what may well prove to be our darkest, most enduring legacy.

Installation view; Behind the Atom Curtain

30 Oct

 Behind the Atom Curain; Life and Death in the Nuclear Age at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Sept-Oct, 2011 - Photographs © Harris Fogel 2011 

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