Particular Attention
Pratt MFA Photography Thesis, Curated by Jody Graf
Pratt Photograph Gallery, Lower Level ARC, Brooklyn
May 2-May 10

Particular Attention is an exhibition of photographs and sculptures that reorient our relationship to New York’s histories of nuclear production to show its continued effects today. By placing works on the walls and free standing in the space the viewer has to reorient their body while viewing the works. Alongside this reorientation, I unground and reground space through abstract and concrete monochromatic imagery used in the photographs and sculptures. This monochromatic color palette points towards the insidious nature of this history, and it’s often invisible or hidden environmental harm. 

The images reference sites such as Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant and West 20th Street, Chelsea in New York and The Hanford Site in Washington. Upon entering the show, the viewer initially sees a large panorama steel sculpture Old Albany Post Road, Phillipstown, New York freestanding in the space. The image shows a panoramic stitching together of three images surrounding this siren site in the Emergency Planning Zone of Indian Point, and creates an imposing and insidious sense of this landscape.

The photographs pinned with magnets to a long metal bar that stretches across the wall behind the initial pair of sirens suggest the possibility of their rearrangement and revision of an understanding of our environment. A key photograph hung in installation on the wall, Siren’s Shadow, depicts an emergency siren at Indian Point flattened, suggesting this site’s past and possible future of environmental harm. I confuse this space by photographing downward at the shadow of the siren that is thirty feet above the ground.

This confusion of space points towards my method of reorientation for questioning our environment’s histories. How does the neutral language of institutions hide harm? How and who do we hold responsible for these harms now and in the future? How can we care for our environment and it’s histories going forward?