Polygon / Somewhere, by Julian Charrière

Polygon is a series of photographs shot at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan, also known as ‘The Polygon’. From 1949 to 1989,  456 nuclear tests were made by the Soviet Union in this primary testing venue.

The photographs are made on analogue medium format film, and submitted to radiation before their development. Thus they both depict the site of nuclear radiation and bear the actual trace of radioactivity’s effects. Charrière’s journey to the Polygon was inspired by J.G. Ballard’s short story “The Terminal Beach”. It oscillates between art, science and fiction and brings us to one of the most remote and inaccessible places – to the beginning of the nuclear age.

My interest in this work lies in the interaction between two ‘dimensions’, the subject is not only figurative but expressive.

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