Atomic Suite

Atomic Suite

Art Gallery of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
20 April - 25 August, 2012

video projection | photographic grid (72) | works on paper (32)

Atomic Suite encompasses a series of works that examine atomic history, industry and culture, focusing on detritus and trace at WWII Wendover Airfield, Utah.

During an eight-week artist residency (2010-11) at the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) in Wendover, Utah, Kavanagh responded to the environment by engaging with locals, touring the region, and documenting key features and activities, including historic remains at WWII Wendover Airfield where the 509th Composite Group trained to drop atomic bombs on Japan; contemporary combat training for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; nuclear ordnance disposal at the Utah Test and Training Range; and iconic land art such as Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels.

Through the course of the residency period, she compiled an extensive photographic and video archive, while tracking her own movements through collecting and transcribing. She collaborated with Butoh dancer, Techan Imai, to record a commissioned choreographed performance at Hopi, Arizona, on August 6, 2010, the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. Resultant projects have included photographic exhibitions, bookworks, video installations, sculptural works, and works on paper.

The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI)

The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) is "dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge about how the nation's lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived."

With a complex at the former airbase (1942-45) on the edge of the salt flats at Wendover, Utah, CLUI consists of public display and information facilities, and offers programs to support the development of new interpretive methodologies and ideas.

Starting in 1996, the Center operated a residence program open to artists, researchers, theorists, or anyone who works with land or land use issues in an innovative and engaging manner. Residents worked out of the CLUI facilities at Wendover, Utah, and explored and interpreted the landscape of that unique and inspiring geographic region, which includes the Great Salt Lake, its desert and salt-flat environs, land art, industry and military activity. Though the Center still supports creative interpretive projects at Wendover, it is now through regionally and thematically focused research partnerships, and is no longer a "residence program."

Double Monument: Hiroshima, Wendover

polymer prints on acrylic

Restricted Area: Use of Deadly Force Authorized (selected images)

inkjet prints (varying dimensions)