AGO: Camera Atomica Exhibit

Hello everyone! I recently attended a teacher preview at the Art Gallery of Ontario which included exploration of the Camera Atomica exhibit. Guest-curated by John O’Brian (writer, curator, and art historian), this exhibit features an extensive collection of nuclear photography, spanning from the days of nuclear testing, Hiroshima bombings, all the way to the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima. This was the coolest piece (in my opinion) – it is a chandelier that is made with uranium glass (not hazardous, don’t worry!) and its glowing is enhanced with black light.
Another display of photos that caught my eye was 100 Suns by Michael Light. This included pictures of atomic explosions re-filtered and re-coloured in different ways and at different times. There is also an odd photo of men sitting in beach chairs watching the nuclear testing while wearing safety glasses which shows the juxtaposition between the polarizing American political beliefs and the tragedy in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was another strange photo called “Radioactive Cats”, which I believe the photographer actually made the cats out of papier mache/plaster.
These are 2 photos taken in the exclusion zone of Fukushima. Remnants of those who had to evacuate in the emergency.
Camera Atomica is on now until November 15, 2015 and is included in the cost of general admission at the AGO (317 Dundas Street West, Toronto). For more information, you can check out their website! I highly recommend going to see this exhibit before it leaves – the photos show a myriad of emotions and ideas of the time – excitement, terror, and activism. If you’re not moved by at least 1 photo in Camera Atomica, you are probably a robot.

When’s the last time you visited the AGO? Let me know! Thanks so much for stopping by!


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