Rooted in an interest in the 'aesthetics of destruction,' Nadav
Kander's most recent project Dust explores the vestiges of
the Cold War through the radioactive ruins of secret cities on the
border between Kazakhstan and Russia.
Priozersk (formally known as 'Moscow 10') and Kurchatov are
closed cities, restricted military zones, concealed and not shown
on maps until they were 'discovered' by Google Earth. Enlisted to
the pursuits of science and war, the sites were utilized for the
covert testing of atomic and long distance weapons. Falsely claimed
as uninhabited, the cities, along with nearby testing site 'The
Polygon' set the stage for one of the most cynical experiments ever
undertaken. Scientists watched and silently documented the
horrifying effects of radiation and pollution on the local
population and livestock.
Fascinated by the area's past and driven by discovery, Kander's
photographs portray stark fact and bleak setting with a
characteristic poeticism. Secrets seem to seep from the silence of
the crumbling monuments, bowing under heavy grey skies. Describing
what he saw as 'empty landscapes of invisible dangers' Kander's
images evoke his sense of awe and fear as he responded to these
places and to the weight of their history.