A suite of body-length photograms that evoke the shadows of victims vaporized by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Thank you for all your generosity! We've exceeded our goal but Shadows still needs your support. We encountered some unexpected technical difficulties, which are now solved (see our update), but that means there were unexpected expenses too.
About the Project
August 6th and 9th, 2013 are the 68th anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
When the atomic bombs detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, people within 300 meters of the hypocenters were instantly vaporized by the intense heat, leaving nothing behind but faint “shadows” on nearby walls, pavement, and other stone and concrete surfaces that weren’t vaporized with them.
– Karl Young, International Shadows Project
Collaborating artists Anna Daedalus and Kerry Davis have designed and built a custom camera-less photo booth as a memory instrument to create body-length photograms that evoke those shadows. On May 12, 2013, a public photo session was held at The White Box at U of O (Portland) in which participants were invited to lend their shadows in commemoration. A selection of the resulting images will be on view June 6 – August 11 at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in conjunction with the 2013 commemoration of Hiroshima Day.
The participatory and experiential aspects of both the booth and the prints (which with their human scale and form act as dark mirrors) are central to the project, and meant to encourage meditation & inquiry. Avoiding sensationalism, the artists look to the poetic potency of the shadow images as a way to approach the unfathomable: the complete, instantaneous erasure of thousands of human beings, whose only remaining trace was a shadow, a negative darkness surrounded by stone or concrete scorched white. To borrow the poet Susan Howe's eloquent words, "If history is a record of survivors, poetry shelters other voices" (Incloser). This project is intended as just such a shelter.
Shadows is supported in part by a project grant from Regional Arts & Culture Council.
What is a photogram?
A photogram is a photographic image made without a camera by placing objects between a light source and the surface of a light-sensitive material (such as photographic paper). The experiments of artists such as Man Ray and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy are among the best-known historical examples.
How your donation will help
Underwriting the considerable costs of the 99-foot long rolls of photographic paper and custom-made Shadow Box will be possible with your help. We've received partial funding for Shadows from the Regional Arts & Culture Council and generous in-kind donations from other parties. Your donation will help bridge the gap. Should we raise more funds than anticipated, the surplus will allow us to mount more of the images and pursue additional exhibition opportunities, both nationally and internationally.
Rewards: Catalogue & Poster
A trifold exhibition catalogue will contain photographs of Shadow Box photograms and an essay by David Abel, and an accompanying poster will feature images from our related project, Water Shadows, and poems written for the project by Standard Schaefer and David Abel.
These photograms were created by submerging photographic paper at night directly in Pacific Northwest waters (the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean) and exposing them to a flash of light. They are part of a larger project, “Mapping the Shadows,” that will attempt to invoke such concerns as the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, radioactive contamination at Hanford and Fukushima, climate change, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, water politics, and global economic justice.
Excerpt from "Particulates" by Standard Schaefer
Excerpt from "Shadowbody" by David Abel
- WhiteBox at U of O for hosting the Shadow Box Public Photo Session
- Oregon Nikkei Endowment
- Oregon College of Art and Craft Photography Department
- Regional Arts & Culture Council
Colin Bardon, Randal Groves, Tomas Valladares, Mark Rupert, Matt Kidder, Tommy Church & Scapelandia, Pacific Paper Tube, Inc., Standard & Paris Schaefer, Libby Cozza, Kelly Bryan, JC Schlechter, Don Kern, Howard Natham, Robert & Bill Schlegel, David Abel, 13 Hats, Brown Printing, Pushdot Studio, Leo Daedalus / fluxmotiv.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We don't foresee any major setbacks. The Shadow Box worked exceedingly well at the photo session on May 12 at The White Box. We've conservatively factored for a less than 25% success rate in producing the Shadows photograms, so we're confident that we'll have sufficient material to work with for the show. We think that our combined experience – and that of all our advisors, volunteers, and partners – assures a successful project.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Trifold exhibition catalogue beautifully designed by Leo Daedalus and featuring an essay by David Abel with images from the Shadow Box.Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
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Catalogue + a poster (18" x 24") featuring water photograms from our related project "Mapping the Shadows" and poems by Standard Schaefer and David Abel.Estimated delivery:Add $6 USD to ship outside the US
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Catalog + Poster + Portfolio w/ One 8x10” archival reproduction of a Shadow photogram (signed, limited edition)Estimated delivery:Add $14 USD to ship outside the US
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Catalog + Poster + Portfolio w/ Two 8x10” archival reproductions of Shadow photograms (signed, limited edition)Estimated delivery:Add $16 USD to ship outside the US
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Catalog + Poster + Portfolio w/ Suite of Two 11x17” archival reproductions of Shadow photograms (signed, limited edition)Estimated delivery:Add $18 USD to ship outside the US
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