Albuquerque artist and activist Barbara Grothus has received a grant from the Fulcrum Fund through Albuquerque’s 516 ARTS, the designated New Mexico manager of the Fund on behalf of the Andy Warhol Foundation.
The grant will fund “BLACK HOLE/Atomic City,” a month long storefront installation slated for August 2019 in Santa Fe. Modeled after “Prada/Marfa” in Valentine, Texas, the installation will not be accessible. Viewed from the street/sidewalk, BLACK HOLE/Atomic City will contain artist produced visual components and internet accessible links. There will be a program of events accompanying the installation. Art exhibitions in conjunction with the event can be anticipated.
The installation is intended to provide a counterpoint to the long-promoted story told by Los Alamos about the 1945 atomic explosions at Trinity Site, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. The 75th Anniversary of these world-changing explosions is not a time for celebration but an opportunity to aknowledge the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in two bombings and the on-going suffering and disease resulting from nuclear blasts and testing as well as the continued production of weapons of mass destruction.
In an effort to focus on voices excluded from the “official” atomic story, the installation seeks dialog and creative input from downwinders of Trinity Site, from those living downstream from Los Alamos and those who had lands stolen in the service of “the nuclear business,” as Ed Grothus, the artist’s father referred to the work done in Los Alamos and similar sites.
“Prada/Marfa is an unlikely destination, in the middle of a west Texas landscape. “The Black Hole in Los Alamos was a destination for tourists from around the world, not only for the enormous collection of detritus from the Los Alamos Laboratory, but for the anti-nuclear views of my father,” the artist said. “There is a desire for peace, shared by people from across the planet. The ‘nuclear business’ is a dead end. The legacy of the Black Hole is not just about “stuff” but about the need to change the mission of the Lab from the production of nuclear weapons to science for the public good,” she said. She added, “This installation will attempt to dismantle the “Confederacy of the Bomb.’ My father used to say, “We are the new abolitionists.” The abolition of nuclear weapons is critical to our survival, rivaled now by the threat to life posed by climate change. We need monuments to peace. We need solutions to global extinction. What is more critical now than this?”
Inquiries about the project and additional information can be obtained by contacting the artist at BHAtomicCity@gmail.com.