[June 7 2011]
Representing straw-filled human forms inspired by T.S. Eliot’s poem The Hollow Men, the message by Geoffrey B. Small for the 54th Venice Biennale 2011 was one of activism and hope for a non-nuclear future. As part of the remarkable initiative LOGOMANIA: This is not a flower, Small’s work comes together with Ukrainian photographer Roman Tcherpak, filmmakers Elizaveta Kleinot and Andrey Gutsul. Presenting video, photography and still life installations, the artists’ work is their response to the serious threat looming over Venice with the government’s proposed constitution of the new and untested EPR nuclear reactor a mere 20km away from Piazza San Marco. Scheduled for 2013, the EPR reactor (AREVA EPR: European Pressurised Reactor) is the world’s largest and potentially most dangerous nuclear reactor in history – two of which had currently been under construction in Finland and France, now questioned by authorities.
Posing a permanent risk to Venice and far beyond, a nuclear disaster in this area would not only cause widespread contamination, destruction of our natural resources but also the evacuation of over 20 million people, affecting Western Europe on a grand scale. Actively raising awareness around the realities and costs of nuclear energy, the artists’ case is supported by the technical report and analysis of a nuclear power plant positioned at Chiogga, Venezia as conducted by University of Vienna Institute of Meteorology and the Eco Institute of Vienna for Greenpeace Austria 2010. Amongst the works included in the presentation, activist and fashion designer Geoffrey B. Small created his still-life installation using original pieces from his Logomania Revisited collection. His message, as seen in a film: ‘What they tell us… What they don’t tell us.’ Tcherpak produced a special series of photographs around the deserted city of Prepyat, Chernobyl for Small’s collection of t-shirts launched to support France’s largest anti-nuclear organisation SORTIR DU NUCLEAIRE, to allow the further development of renewable energies. As a rising new generation of international artists, their intent is one that comes as a sincere reinvigoration against propaganda and the forced, unnecessary risks governments are willing to take – forward the creative fight to save the planet from nuclear apocalypse.
To find out more about Geoffrey B. Small’s anti-nuclear project click here.
Photo Olivier Zahm and text Sophie Pinchetti