• David McMillan, View of Forest from Dental Hospital, Pripyat, 2012, C-print, 44 × 55". From “Camera Atomica.”

    “Camera Atomica”

    Art Gallery of Ontario
    317 Dundas Street West
    July 8–November 15, 2015

    Curated by John O’Brian with Sophie Hackett

    Photography is indelibly woven into the not-yet-ended history of the nuclear age. The camera was present at the very beginning of this era, documenting the arc from experimentation, via eerie images of the first atomic fireball, to decimation, characterized by photos of atomic-bomb victims at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Remarkably, “Camera Atomica”—an exhibition of roughly 150 photographs from 1945 to the present—sustains the intensity of these arresting early images, training its focus on radiation and bombs throughout the Cold War. Bringing together everything from artist’s photographs (by Diane Arbus, Barbara Kruger, and others), anti-nuke protest images, and depictions of the decaying contemporary ruins of Pripyat, Ukraine (near Chernobyl), this remarkable show and catalogue promise to make clear that the age of the nucleus is also and always an age of the image.