Phantoms in the Dirt | Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College | Galleries | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: July 24-Oct. 5 2014
Twenty-two miles southwest of the Loop, the world's first nuclear reactor lies entombed in concrete beneath a tract of Cook County Forest Preserve known as Site A. About 2,000 feet north is Plot M, a dump for 1940s radioactive waste, marked by the Department of Energy with a monument that reads caution—do not dig. Disregarding the warning, Jeremy Bolen buried film there at various times in 2012; after two weeks, he excavated the rolls, printed photos that display ghostly fields of purple—the apparent result of exposure to radioactivity—and sprinkled the prints with dirt and grass from the site before framing. Bolen's pieces are certainly the most literal manifestation of a major theme of "Phantoms in the Dirt": that artistic practice can expose elusive immaterial properties that lie unseen in the most elemental things. "Dirt is this stuff that's everywhere—it's the most ordinary matter, but there might be this other presence within it," says curator Karsten Lund. Continue reading >>

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