Chromogenic print, from the series "On This Site: Landscape in Memoriam," edition 1 of 7
Unmarked recto; inscribed verso, on mount, along bottom edge, in black ink: "JS.219.0 1/7 Hanford Reservation, Hanford, Washington, August 1994 N-August 1994 / P-September 1996 Joel Sternfeld"
In 1942, the United States Army, searching for a place to manufacture plutonium for the atomic bomb, selected Hanford, a remote farming community in central Washington. Fewer than two thousand people occupied the half-million acres around the town. The Army took over the land and built the world’s first large-scale nuclear reactor. Throughout the Cold War, Hanford produced much of the raw material for America’s nuclear arsenal.
More than 440 billion gallons of chemical and radioactive waste were poured into the ground at Hanford, including enough plutonium to build two-dozen nuclear bombs. Airborne radiation was deliberately released to test the effects of iodine 131 on the surrounding area and its residents, who were not warned of dangers to their health.
Hanford’s plutonium production facility was shut down in 1988. A massive clean-up effort is underway.
From the series, On This Site: Landscape in Memoriam
47.7 × 59.8 cm (image/paper); 63.5 × 76.4 cm (mount)
Gift of Jeanne and Richard S. Press
Extended information about this artwork
Chicago, IL, Museum of Contemporary Photography, “Loaded Landscapes,” 16 August - 13 October 2007.
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