The photo project Unsettling Dust explores the lived, bodily experience of radiation by focusing on the relationship between post-nuclear landscapes and radioactive dust. It asks what it means to be living with the threat of contagion, with doubt cast upon your every single breath.
The years 2020 and 2021 are becoming marked by a renewed focus on air. The presence of an invisible enemy with a respiratory system as its target reminds us that we are not in charge – not only are our infrastructures inadequate, but our own human senses and understanding fail to comprehend and contain the scale and effects of potential contagion.
The proposed project attempts to tackle this gap in understanding by changing scale: instead of detachment, the spectacle and the experience of the sublime that commonly characterizes nuclear landscapes, the project wishes to focus on felt, intimate uncanny. Radiation goes beyond the visual, its appearance is dispersed, thus calling for a change in how we approach its representation.
Nuclear aesthetics and an exploration through the aesthetic registers of landscape are therefore central to the proposed project.
The photographs, representing the post-nuclear landscape, are made with a homemade camera with simple lens and printed on different materials. Next to these photographs a short experimental film will be shown, representing Vaujours, a city 20 km of Paris where the first nuclear tests of France took place.