Pacific Fiction - Study for Monument

Pacific Fiction - Study for Monument (found Bikinian coconuts in lead sarcophagi, steel-frame), Installation view: First Light, Galerie Tschudi, Zuoz, Switzerland, 2016



Pacific Fiction - Study for Monument is a sculpture which serves as a putative model for a future memorial paying tribute to the people of the Marshall Islands and their suffering brought upon by the nuclear tests conducted by the United States government as a part of the Nuclear Arms Race. The work incorporates a pile of coconuts encased in lead symbolizing the traumatic embrace of this region by the atomic project; the lead coating suggestive of smothering––registering a profound colonial imposition. In addition to this, the sculpture reflects upon safety and hope: in physical terms, lead “contains” the danger posed by the radiation present within the coconuts. The pyramid form further recalls a stockpile of cannonballs––this “fruit” of atomic knowledge standing ready for deployment, for good or ill. But it also invokes a tomb, like the pyramids of Egypt, and the deathly architecture of the bunkers on the shores of Bikini’s Atoll from which scientists observed their nuclear tests.

Pacific Fiction - Study for Monument (found Bikinian coconuts in lead sarcophagi, steel-frame), Installation view: First Light, Galerie Tschudi, Zuoz, Switzerland, 2016

Pacific Fiction - Study for Monument (found Bikinian coconuts in lead sarcophagi, steel-frame), Installation view: First Light, Galerie Tschudi, Zuoz, Switzerland, 2016