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"Alice Miceli: Projeto Chernobyl"

On view at Americas Society from October 9, 2019 through January 25, 2020

Curated by Gabriela Rangel and Diana Flatto

NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Americas Society presents Alice Miceli: Projeto Chernobyl , a series of 30 radiographs produced in 2006-2010 and documenting the residual effects of the 1986 Ukrainian nuclear plant explosion. The exhibition, curated by Gabriela Rangel (Artistic Director, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires and former Chief Curator and Director, Visual Arts, Americas Society) and Diana Flatto (Assistant Curator, Americas Society), is the first to bring the series Projeto Chernobyl (Chernobyl Project), by Brazilian artist Alice Miceli (b. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1980), to the United States.

(PRNewsfoto/Americas Society)

Miceli developed a method of image-making to capture the environmental contamination resulting from the April 26, 1986 disaster. Though gamma radiation continues to be present, it is invisible to the naked eye and to traditional methods of photography that have been used to document the region's ruins. With her innovative radiographic technique, the artist makes the destructive energy visible via direct contact between the radiation and her film, which was exposed in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone for months at a time.

"In Chernobyl, where the defining quality of the environment is the invisible radioactive contamination, which is pervasive but not perceived by our senses, the question of the project became: 'How to look, and by what means?'" Miceli commented. "I see the act of walking through impenetrable spaces as a form of resistance. It's not condoning any of the actions that created these spaces; on the contrary, it's a form of counteraction that confronts them. I'm specifically trying to access and offer a point of view from within the land that has been occupied."

The work considers our world in a new way within lineages of documentary photography and abstraction. "Alice Miceli's work is very unusual and rare within the narratives of Latin American art," said Rangel. "She has a unique niche in her research on questions that affect our bodies in a biopolitical manner. She's one of the few artists concerned with the militarization of the world in the bodies and minds of people today."

The original radiographic negatives are presented as a complete series in light boxes embedded within the walls of the otherwise dark gallery. In addition to the illuminated two-gallery installation, the exhibition comprises a selection of documentary photographs taken by the artist on journeys to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in 2008 and 2009, and a video interview with the artist, including footage of the radiographs' placement and descriptions of her experimental research leading to the radiograph format. Both technically and conceptually complex, Miceli's work questions our ideas of vision, memory, and trauma.

"Miceli's work is increasingly relevant today in Brazil, Latin America, and the rest of the world," said co-curator Diana Flatto. "It raises pressing issues about clean energy and the environment that go beyond the specific moment or place as we are witnessing destruction of the Amazon, depletion of natural resources, and broader climate change."

Rather than recording the historical moment of the disaster in Chernobyl, Miceli captured the energy that endures and will haunt the atmosphere of Belarus and the Ukraine for thousands of years. She terms the areas of her research "impenetrable spaces" where she documents landscapes rendered dangerous by militarization and industrialization.

Alice Miceli: Projeto Chernobyl unearths the layers behind nuclear disaster—a continuous threat to human and environmental safety. Miceli questions the military, economic, and political contexts of damaged landscapes like the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, inviting a confrontation of the history of our society.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication including an interview between the co-curators and the artist.

The presentation of Alice Miceli: Projeto Chernobyl is made possible by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the generous support from Galeria Nara Roesler.

Additional support comes from The Cowles Charitable Trust, the Garcia Family Foundation, and the Consulate General of Brazil in New York.

Americas Society gratefully acknowledges the support from the Arts of the Americas Circle members: Estrellita Brodsky; Galeria Almeida e Dale; Kaeli Deane; Diana Fane; Isabella Hutchinson; Carolina Jannicelli; Vivian Pfeiffer and Jeanette van Campenhout, Phillips; Luis Oganes; Roberto Redondo; Erica Roberts; Sharon Schultz; Herman Sifontes; and Edward J. Sullivan.


October 9, 2019 through January 25, 2020
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Gallery Hours:
Wednesday to Saturday
12:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Free admission

ARTIST TALK: Alice Miceli
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
6:30 – 8:30 PM
The artist will introduce and discuss the exhibition Alice Miceli: Projeto Chernobyl. She will shed light on the process of her series made in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as well her work on land mines in Angola, Cambodia, Colombia, and Bosnia. Her work in impenetrable spaces reveals urgent issues about art, human rights, and the environment.
At Magnum Foundation, 59 East 4th Street #7W
Free admission – Registration is required

PANEL DISCUSSION: Invisible Threats: Human Rights, The Environment, and Art
Thursday, October 21, 2019 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Although visitors to Alice Miceli: Projeto Chernobyl can see the effects of the gamma rays, the imperceptibility of its threat heightened the Chernobyl Power Plant explosion's consequences for the populations of Belarus and the Ukraine. This panel addresses how the risk of nuclear disaster continues to threaten global health, human rights, and the environment.
Speakers include Ivy Meeropol (filmmaker and director of Indian Point ), Adriana Petryna (Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Anthropology and Director of MD-PhD Program in Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania), and Yasufumi Nakamori (Senior Curator of International Art, Tate Modern), moderated by César Rodríguez- Garavito (Visiting Professor of Clinical Law, NYU Law, Global Justice and Human Rights Clinic).
Free admission – Registration is required

PANEL DISCUSSION: Modes of Documentation and Photography
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Alice Miceli's work operates within a legacy of documentary photography to depict the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl explosion. Instead of repeating the widespread images of the abandoned buildings of Pripyat and its survivors, she developed a scientific method to document the radiation itself. This panel will contextualize her experimental mode of documentation within the genre of photography.
Speakers include Milagros de la Torre (photographer), Kristen Lubben (Executive Director, Magnum Foundation), and Thyago Nogueira (Head of the Contemporary Photography Department, Instituto Moreira Salles). Moderated by Diana Flatto (Assistant Curator, Americas Society).
Free admission – Registration is required

FILM SCREENING: Voices from Chernobyl
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
6:30-8:30 PM
Svetlana Alexievich earned the Nobel Prize in Literature for her book Voices from Chernobyl, an oral history of the tragic power plant explosion and its aftermath. Americas Society presents the 2016 film La Supplication (Voices from Chernobyl) directed by Pol Cruchten, based on Alexievich's book.
Free admission – Registration is required

Visit as-coa.org/visualarts  for more details on all public programs.

Americas Society  is the premier organization dedicated to education, debate, and dialogue in the Americas. Established by David Rockefeller in 1965, our mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social, and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship. Americas Society Visual Arts program boasts the longest-standing private space in the United States dedicated to exhibiting and promoting art from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada; it has achieved a unique and renowned leadership position in the field, producing both historical and contemporary exhibitions.

Press Inquiries: mediarelations@as-coa.org


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SOURCE Americas Society