Perpetual Uncertainty – Art and the Nuclear Anthropocene, Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Hasselt, Belgium, 17 September – 10 December 2017
The exhibition brings together international artists from across Europe, the USA and Japan to investigate experiences of nuclear technology, radiation and the complex relationship between knowledge and deep time.
Curated by Ele Carpenter: “The nuclear anthropocene describes how man-made radiation has contaminated the earth, forming a mark of human activity that will last for hundreds of thousands of years. Whilst 20th century fallout provides a time-stamp of the first nuclear age from nuclear weapons testing; the 21st century repositories for high-level radioactive waste will physically create a new geologic layer in the earth’s fossil record for over 100,000 years. Looking beyond the modernist vision of a utopian nuclear age, contemporary artists are engaging with the lived experience of radiation through nuclear objects, architectures and landscapes. They are investigating new forms of nuclear vernacular, folklore and rethinking the markers and archives of the nuclear anthropocene.
Z33 present the exhibition in their beautiful 18th century beguinage building, a series of interlinking rooms on two sides of a courtyard. Hasselt is a town in the Flemish (Dutch) speaking part of Belgium, which also includes the Belgian Radioactive Waste Research Centre, SCK-CEN, the HADES Underground Research Lab at Mol, and the radioactive waste storage site at Dessel. We have worked closely with the waste agency for a couple of years to arrange site visits and roundtable discussions with artists, and to engage the wider community with the exhibition.”
Participating artists: James Acord, Shuji Akagi, Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway, Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson, Finger Pointing Worker, Dave Griffiths, Isao Hashimoto, Erika Kobayashi, David Mabb, Cécile Massart, Eva and Franco Mattes, Yelena Popova, Susan Schuppli, Shimpei Takeda, Kota Takeuchi, Thomson & Craighead, Suzanne Treister, Andy Weir, Robert Williams and Bryan McGovern Wilson, and Ken + Julia Yonetani