APG member Harley Cowan has worked featured in “Notch Code,” a show of large format film in the current issue of the online magazine Light Leaked. Fourteen portfolios total were selected. http://www.lightleaked.com/exhibition-notch-code.html and an upcoming solo exhibit of my Manhattan Project portfolio at Camerawork Gallery in Portland, Oregon for the month of August. There will be a reception and talk on Friday, August 9th at 6:30pm. Camerawork is the oldest continually operating photography gallery in the U.S. https://thecameraworkgallery.org/upcoming-exhibitions-cwg/
Steidl Books has published a new book by David McMillan: Growth and Decay: Pripyat and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, April 23, 2019.
Since 1994 Scottish-born Canadian photographer David McMillan (born 1945) has journeyed 21 times to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Inspired by his teenage memories of Nevil Shute’s On the Beach (1957), a disturbing vision of the world following nuclear war, McMillan found in Pripyat the embodiment of an irradiated city still standing but void of human life. As one of the first artists to gain access to “The Zone,” McMillan initially explored the evacuated areas with few constraints and in solitude, save for an occasional scientist monitoring the effects of radioactivity. Returning year after year enabled him to revisit the sites of earlier photographs―sometimes fortuitously, sometimes by design―bearing witness to the forces of nature as they reclaimed the abandoned communities. Above all, his commitment has been to probe the relentless dichotomy between growth and decay in The Zone.
262 pages, 200 images
Hardback / Clothbound
1. Edition 01/2019
Ed Westcott chronicled the work done at Oak Ridge. Here, in one of his best-known photographs, from 1944, women sat at their stations in the calutron, where uranium isotopes were separated. CreditEd Westcott/United States Department of Energy, Oak Ridge
Ed Westcott, a photographer who documented life in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the secret city where uranium was enriched as part of the Manhattan Project to develop the atom bomb during World War II, died on March 29 at his daughter’s home in Oak Ridge, where he also still lived. He was 97.
The APG is pleased to announce the acceptance of Harley Cowan into the Guild. His large format series taken in 2017 of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Washington is an important addition to the APG archives and documents the exterior and interior of Reactor B, the world’s first full-scale nuclear reactor which produced plutonium for the nuclear bombs detonated in Trinity, New Mexico, and Nagasaki, Japan.
Harley grew up in Richland, Washington next to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and combined with his experience in architectural heritage documentation and preservation work with the Library of Congress has produced an intimate record of American nuclear industry and infrastructure.
More of Harley’s work can be found at https://www.harleycowan.com/
Image: The loading face of B Reactor (1944), from A Cathedral of Science, Manhattan Project National Historical Park, Washington (2017)
Invisible Colors The Arts of the Atomic Age is a monumental work by Gabriele Decamous published by MIT Press that surveys the ways by which art, worldwide, can help make visible what has long been in obscurity – the effects of radioactivity, the lives of radiation-impacted survivors, and the politics of the nuclear age.
Decamous’ fine-tuned radar for finding nuclear art throughout the globe makes this volume a landmark collection of nuclear imagery that explores atomic-inspired art from Marie Curie to the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Chernobyl disaster, the still-unfolding triple meltdowns of Fukushima, and a wide array of other atomic events that have marked our deep, brief, everlasting nuclear history.
Decamous looks at the “Radium Literature” based on the work and life of Marie Curie; “A-Bomb literature” by Hibakusha (bomb survivor) artists from Nagasaki and Hiroshima; responses to the bombings by Western artists and writers; art from the irradiated landscapes of the Cold War—nuclear test sites and uranium mines, mainly in the Pacific and some African nations; and nuclear accidents in Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island. She finds that the artistic voices of the East are often drowned out by those of the West. Hibakusha art and Japanese photographs of the bombing are little known in the West and were censored; poetry from the Marshall Islands and Moruroa is also largely unknown; Western theatrical and cinematic works focus on heroic scientists, military men, and the atomic mushroom cloud rather than the aftermath of the bombings.
Emphasizing art by artists who were present at these nuclear events—the “global Hibakusha”—rather than those reacting at a distance, Decamous puts Eastern and Western art in dialogue, analyzing the aesthetics and the ethics of nuclear representation.
March 2, 2019 – April 28, 2019
Mary Kavanagh: Daughters of Uranium solo exhibition at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery explores the legacy of the atomic age from the perspective of the sentient body and intergenerational trauma. While considering the ideological apparatus that has surrounded nuclearism since its inception, Mary Kavanagh’s new work has emerged from a longstanding interest in the body as a site of memory, violence, and inscription. Daughters of Uranium is a title redolent of both archaic chemical science and of generations born into an uncertain future. Citing the radioactive decay chain of Uranium 235, widely known for its use in the first atomic bomb, the elements in Uranium’s family tree are referred to as “daughters.” Kavanagh’s exhibition considers Promethean technologies in relation to accelerated environmental degradation and renewed global interest in nuclear armament. Cinematic projection, works on paper, artifacts, and a provocative series of structures using light, glass, sound, and lead are conceptualized as chapters that combine personal and political narratives organized around central themes and historic periods.
Co-curated by Christina Cuthbertson and Lindsey Sharman. Co-organized with the Founders’ Gallery. An exhibition publication with essays by Peter Van Wyck and Jayne Wilkinson will be launched in 2020.
BOMBHEAD is a thematic exhibition organized by guest curator John O’Brian that explores the emergence and impact of the nuclear age as represented by artists and their art. Strongly associated with obliteration and destruction, nuclear technologies have had a profound cultural and ecological impact since their development in the mid-20th century.
Encompassing the pre- and postwar period from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011, BOMBHEAD brings together paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, photographs, film and video that deal with this often dark subject matter. The exhibition will address some of the most pressing issues of the postwar era. What has been the role of art in producing an image of the bomb and nuclear energy? Have nuclear art and images heightened or lessened anxieties about the atomic threat, or have they done both simultaneously? How should different expressive approaches to nuclear risk be understood? The themes explored in this exhibition will strongly resonate with the works on view in Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, which reflect Murakami’s own reckoning with the nuclear age.
Artists in the exhibition include: Carl Beam, Henry Busse, Blaine Campbell, Bruce Conner, Gregory Coyes, Robert Del Tredici, Wang Du, Harold Edgerton, Gathie Falk, Robert Filliou, Richard Finnie, Betty Goodwin, Adolph Gottlieb, Richard Harrington, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Robert Keziere, Roy Kiyooka, Bob Light and John Houston, Ishiuchi Miyako, Carel Moiseiwitsch, Andrea Pinheiro, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Ruwedel, John Scott, Erin Siddall, Nancy Spero and Barbara Todd.