Collaboration with philosopher Michael Marder and biogenetician Martin Hajduch

CHERNOBYL HERBARIUM, 2011-16
Location: Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine_ Radiation level: 1.7 Microsieverts per hour
30 Rayograms, 24x36 cm, Giclee Print on RAG Paper


On Saturday, April 26th, 1986, at 1:23:58 a.m. local time, a test in Chernobyl nuclear plant takes a disastrous turn. The core of reactor No.4 explodes, emitting a plume of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and drifted across the then Western Soviet Union and Europe.

This project is composed of 31 rayograms, created by the direct imprint of specimens from a radioactive herbarium on photosensitive plates. These plants grew in the soils of Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, studied by the team of bio geneticain Martin Hajduch* who analyses the impacts of radioactivity on the flora.
Material traces of an invisible disaster, these images are captured on the edge of the visible. Alongside, 31 fragments of texts by philosopher Michael Marder, they invite to relfect upon, signify, and symbolize it, taking stock of the consciousness the accident fragmented and, perhaps, cultivating another, more environmentally attuned way of living.

Excerpts from Preface of The Chernobyl Herbarium, Fragments of an Exploded Consciousness

* Institute of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology at Slovak Academy of Sciences.

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Selected view from the 30 rayograms


Linum-Strictum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Linum usitatissimum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Linum usitatissimum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Linum usitatissimum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Linum usitatissimum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Geranium chinum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Monadelphia decaudria
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/


Linum usitatissimum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Geranium chinum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Byrsonima lucida
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Unknown specie
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Geranium chinum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Dolichos prurien
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Linum usitatissimum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Dolichos prurien
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Linum usitatissimum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h


Thesium Humifusum
Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl, Ukraine – Radiation level: 1.7 microsieverts/h

Publications
The Chernobyl Herbarium Fragments from an exploded consciousness, Open Humanities Press, 2016

It’s a stroke of genius to have miniaturized something so vast and demonic—we don’t even know how to dream any of this yet (it’s called ecological awareness), and as Marder observes here, just upgrading our aesthetics to cope with the trauma of this awareness is a key unfinished project.”

Timothy Morton, Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English, Rice University – author of Realist Magic.

"As Marder says, Tondeur’s herbarium is a steady glow, where the plants are left to speak by spatially expressing themselves out of the radioactive earth".
Prudence Gibson – auteur de The Pharmacy of Plants










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