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nettime: Unthinkable

From: helen sloan <helen@volcanic.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 20:14:53 +0200
To: umbrella@cityscape.co.uk
Subject: 10 Years After Chernobyl - The Unthinkable is the Unknowable

CAMERAWORK 26 April to 1 June 1996

Call for contributions

Please see below details of the exhibition and website, marking 10 years
after the Chernobyl disaster,  which opens at Camerawork on April 26th. The
website itself will use the unique qualities of the net to look at
documentary techniques. The aim is to be neither pro or anti nuclear power
but will look at inconsistencies in legislation and standards on a global
and local level,  and how they affect different people's engagement with
nuclear power. The website already has a lot of source material, but for it
to explore notions of documentary properly contributions on an ongoing
basis will be vital.

I would like to ask if you would send a short piece of text and/or image
relating to your experience or lack of experience with the nuclear
industry. This will be edited and added to the web pages which will be
updated on a weekly basis. Questions you could address are:
Where were you when the Chernobyl disaster happened on April 26th, 1986?
What impact did the disaster have on you?
Does it still have any impact?
What do you think about nuclear power in general?
What would happen if a similar disaster to Chernobyl happened in your own
Contributions should be sent to helen@volcanic.demon.co.uk (please note: if
you are sending other info to me as helen@camwork.demon.co.uk, please amend
your mailing list), or from April 26th can also be sent to the website
e-mail address which can be accessed through the site. Alternatively fax or
post to Camerawork (44 (0)181 983 4714 or 121 Roman Road, London, E2 0QN)
marked Chernobyl website.Let me know if you want to be credited or left

Thanks for your help and I look forward to receiving your comments and


Helen Sloan

The Unthinkable is the Unknowable
Ten Years After Chernobyl

New work by Stefan Gec, Vladimir Kuznetsov, Simon Schofield and Pam Skelton.
Launching The Unthinkable is the Unknowable Internet project.
Curated by Helen Sloan for Camerawork

Opening: 26 April  7pm - 9pm @ Camerawork, 121 Roman Road, London E2, UK

April 26th - June 1st, 1996

This major touring exhibition marks 10 years after the Chernobyl incident.
=46eaturing works by three British artists, all of whom have some connection=
with the nuclear industry, and the award winning work of Ukrainian
filmmaker Vladimir Kuznetsov; The Unthinkable is the Unknowable presents a
series of responses to the impact of nuclear power on people's lives.  The
internet project, edited and developed by Angela Medhurst and Helen Sloan,
will include text and images relating to the documentation of living and
working in the midst of the nuclear industry and will provide a direct link
to the Ukraine and the country's simultaneous events in remembrance of the
Chernobyl disaster.

Certain aspects of the nuclear industry and the Chernobyl accident are well
charted - The Unthinkable is the Unknowable aims to present personal
histories, accounts of daily lives and future projections through human
experiences rather than through statistics or political statements.  Many
of the accounts of these experiences contradict each other, and it is clear
that the real implications of living in a nuclear disaster area, or in the
vicinity of a nuclear power station, are largely a product of guesswork and
the interpretation of statistics.

Stefan Gec and Pam Skelton both have family connections in the Ukraine and
have recently visited Chernobyl, interpreting their experiences in
different ways.  Pam Skelton's video work The Liquidators focuses on the
people responsible for decontaminating the Chernobyl plant shortly after
the disaster and their subsequent health problems, while Stefan Gec's
installation Once removed looks at the impact of the disaster on a broader
scale using mementos such as a child's exercise book found in Chernobyl -
the last entry is dated 26th April 1986, the date of the accident.

Vladimir Kuznetsov has worked extensively on documenting the 'unknown'
aspects of the Chernobyl disaster.  His latest film The Chernobyl Accident:
A Chronicle of the Shelter Construction uses eyewitness accounts and found
footage to document the building of the 'sarcophagus' around the
contaminated reactor 4 directly after the accident.

Simon Schofield's Power Stations as Ruins, a series of digitally montaged
photographs show crumbling power stations in rural idyllic landscapes
reminiscent of the work of Lorrain or Friedrich.  Constructed out of total
fantasy, rather like architectural drawings of monumental buildings as
ruins by Soane and Piranesi, these anachronistic landscapes encourage the
audience to develop their own narrative about a future event which could
lead to these scenes.

The Unthinkable is the Unknowable Internet project provides a direct link
between the Ukraine and Britain.  Using new documentary techniques that
highlight, rather than resolve the contradictions in the information
provided on the nuclear industry, this project will have an important role
in stressing the emphasis on human experience within the exhibition.  As a
contribution to the site, everyone is invited to record their experiences
and comments on the disaster and the nuclear industry  - send your
responses to helen@volcanic.demon.co.uk, fax them on 0181 983 4714 or post
them to Camerawork marked Chernobyl Website.  From 26th April  responses
can be made on the site itself.  The site
http://www.wmin.ac.uk/media/chernobyl, will be updated every week.

=46or further details and press prints contact Barbara Hunt on 0181 980 6256

The Unthinkable is the Unknowable

Inter alia
18th and 19th May
Weekend project in Dungeness
=A340 (=A325 concessions) includes materials and  accommodation

Built on ten miles of shingle beach, Dungeness is one of the most unusual
landscapes in Britain.  In spite of the presence of two nuclear power
stations and some of the biggest military manoeuvre sites in the country,
the local people maintain a thriving fishing industry and farming
community.  The area also attracts large numbers of visitors to its nature
and bird reserves.  This diversity means that the landscape offers a wide
range of source material for making work demonstrated by the number of
artists, including the late Derek Jarman, who have lived in Dungeness.
Inter alia will provide the opportunity for photographers, writers,
filmmakers and other cultural producers to work on a weekend project
focusing on the various presences in Dungeness.  The project will be partly
structured for the group, including a visit to Dungeness Power Station,
talks from local residents, and discussion sessions.  'Free' time will also
be provided for participants to explore the area for themelves.
The weekend will be led by photographer Pauline Squibb who is working on an
ongoing project with the residents of Dungeness.  Some of the artists
involved in The Unthinkable is the Unknowable exhibition will also be
present for the weekend.  Materials and accommodation are provided and
transport is available for those who need it.  Places are limited and early
booking is advisable.
Elements of the work from the weekend will be shown on The Unthinkable is
the Unknowable
web site.To make a booking and for further details contact Camerawork on
0181 980 6256

The Unthinkable is the Unknowable website
(available from April 26th, 1996)

Special event: 25th May 2pm - 5pm.

Throughout the exhibition and subsequently, it will be possible to access
the website.  On 25th May, Angela Medhurst and Helen Sloan, editors and
developers of the site, will be available at Camerawork to give
demonstrations, and will hold an informal discussion on their approach to
documentary when creating the web pages.  During this event, they will also
work on the creation of extra pages based on the work produced during the
Inter alia weekend in Dungeness.
We are looking for stories or obsrvations about the Chernobyl disaster
and/or wider nuclear issues,
eg. Can you remember how the Chernobyl incident affected you and where you
were?. Please send contributions (any length -  contributions may be
edited) to helen@volcanic.demon.co.uk or mail/fax them to Camerawork marked
Chernobyl Website.  From April 26th,  the website can be visited and
contributions and comments left there.  The site will be updated weekly and
contributions should appear the following week.

=46or further details please contact Camerawork on 0181 980 6256

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