Silver Bullet Test Site (2017)
On May 5, 1955 during the first part of the Cold War, the Federal Civil Defense Administration of the United States conducted an exploratory nuclear explosion at the Nevada Test Site. The predominant purpose of the test was to discover the effects of a nuclear explosion on various building types and construction materials. “Operation Cue,” a short film about the explosion, was distributed to the public to express American optimism and the supposed inevitability of a nuclear strike. A fake town called “Survival Town” was created for annihilation; a space of anticipation as buildings and mannequins awaited their ultimate doom. I started to wonder how a space can contain both feelings of safety and horror? What is the culture of a safe space? And whom does the safe space benefit?
Silver Bullet Test Site is model of a nondescript basement shelter, transforming from full-scale to miniature in a one-point perspective. It is built as a collapsible set that separates into individual painting frames, giving it the impression of being in flux. The sculpture has a video monitor on the exterior, showing a short film of an idyllic desert landscape, native flora and fauna, and unsuspecting buildings.