Last Vacation Before the End of the World: Atomic Tourist
In Spring 2018, I embarked on an Atomic Tourism trip from Las Vegas, Nevada, through Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico to see places where the nuclear age had impacted the landscape, the people, and the region. Photographer Jaffa Aharonov accompanied me on this trip to document my experience. From the Nevada Test Site to the Trinity Site, from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the Waste Isolation Pilot Project, our trip explored the legacy of the Manhattan Project on American culture and what it means to be an "atomic tourist." I envisioned this project as a performance for the camera, but undoubtedly, I was noticed by those who visited the sites with us as well. With a carefully constructed wardrobe of yellows and neons, my poses in front of war machines, on military bases, and near places of contamination embodied a sort of performative intervention. Just as the radiation left at these sites slowly seeped into my body, I left an impression there as well with my reclamation of the space through a highly visible art project.
This work was made possible with support from the Jerome Foundation.