Atomic Afterimage @ Boston University Art Gallery
Atomic Afterimage: Cold War Imagery in Contemporary Art
September 5 - November 2, 2008
Boston University Art Gallery

Participating artists:
Michael Anastassiades, Bruce Connor, Anthony Dunne, Joy Garnett, Vincent Johnson, Michael Light, Robert Longo, Richard Misrach, Trevor Paglen, Fiona Raby

Curated by Keely Orgeman


The Boston University Art Gallery opens the fall semester with a look at the aesthetic value of the Cold War. Atomic Afterimage: Cold War Imagery in Contemporary Art showcases artistic reinterpretations of pictures from Cold War–era aboveground nuclear testing.

“The works point to ideological connections between the nuclear age and the present, but they do so in very subtle ways,” says exhibition curator Keely Orgeman (GRS'11), the Jan and Warren Adelson Curatorial Fellow in American Art in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “Rather than creating works that are clearly about the spectacle of nuclear testing, artists exaggerate the drama of the scenes through scale and medium.”

Atomic Afterimage features the work of 10 artists, and the pieces range from declassified photographs of nuclear explosions to images focused on the lack of plant and animal life at former testing sites.

“The art delivers strong political messages without being heavy-handed,” says Orgeman. “I think the display will be both aesthetically pleasing and psychologically unsettling because of the incredibly dark, but beautiful, subject matter.”
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