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United States of America born 1954

  • Canada 1982-2002

Los Alamos
the secret on the hill
1993 Place made: United States of America
Creation Notes: printed 2004
Materials & Technique: photographs, 2 gelatin silver photographs,pencil panorama Support: archival board

Dimensions: comp 38.0 h x 48.2 w cm 2nd piece 38.0 h x 48.2 w cm (card) 60.8 h x 71.0 w cm overall 121.6 h x 142.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2003
Accession No: NGA 2004.107

Ruwedel documents worlds made strange through human interventions. This series, The Italian navigator, examines sites used during the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bombs used during the Second World War and by the nuclear industry during the Cold War. The series title refers to the code word sent by physicist Enrico Fermi to the American government confirming that he had created the first nuclear chain reaction. Ruwedel focuses our attention on landscapes where the remains of history are still apparent though not always obviously so. Los Alamos in New Mexico was the site where, from 1942, the Manhattan Project was carried out; it was referred to as ‘The Hill’ by many in in the surrounding area, and as ‘Site Y’ by military personnel. In Ruwedel’s words ‘nuclear weapons have fundamentally altered our relationships with the natural world and, in the process, landscapes have taken on new meanings’.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra