Mary Kavanagh: Trinity 3


Trinity 3Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
February 13, 2020 – May 10, 2020

Curated by Crystal Mowry

Trinity Site, New Mexico, marks the historically significant testing of the world’s first atomic bomb on 16 July 1945, three weeks prior to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Under the auspices of the Manhattan Project, the development and use of atomic weapons presented new orders of destructive capability. Today the area surrounding the original test site is named the White Sands Missile Range and remains active in the steady advancement of increasingly sophisticated military technologies. Two days each year, the WSMR Public Affairs Office hosts an Open House, during which thousands of visitors come to experience the place where the atomic age began.

Since her first visit in 2012, Mary Kavanagh has developed a forensic eye for the individual and collective histories shaped by the events associated with the test site. In the making of Trinity 3, Kavanagh conducted hundreds of on-site interviews with visitors making the pilgrimage, often for complex reasons. For some of her subjects, the site is consecrated. For others, it awakens anxiety about the militarization of science and fears that nuclear technologies may be exploited by reckless leaders. By interspersing archival footage with narratives of impact, Kavanagh creates a filmic montage that is in turn jarring, poetic and inscrutable.

A forthcoming catalogue with essays by Peter C. van Wyck and Jayne Wilkinson will be produced in partnership with the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Founders’ Gallery at the University of Calgary.

KWAG Mary Kavanagh Artist’s Talk
KWAG Mary Kavanagh Exhibition
Canadian Art | Trinity 3