Activity Chernobyl Herbarium


The artwork

Chernobyl Herbarium

Prints, 2011 – 2016

On Saturday, April 26th, 1986, at 1:23:58 a.m. local time, a test in Chernobyl nuclear plant takes a disastrous turn. The core of reactor No.4 explodes, emitting a plume of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere which drifts across the then Western Soviet Union and Europe.

This project is composed of 30 rayograms, created by the direct imprint of specimens from a radioactive herbarium on photosensitive plates. These plants grew in the soils of Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, studied by Martin Hajduch’s team who analyzes the impacts of radioactivity on the flora.

The photogram technique uses light as a source to record and archives trauma on the species just as the atomic explosions have illuminated and scarred the mind. With this series of plant imprints, the artist aims to interrogate the scars of a tragedy, material traces of an invisible disaster, these images are captured on the edge of the visible.

Curator : Juliette Bibasse


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