James Trainor

Menu

Night Watchman

Night Watchman

Dimona: It is a beautiful name for something that long refused to exist.

Artforum, May 2010

Dimona: it is a beautiful name for something that long refused to exist. Built secretly in Israel's Negev Desert in 1956, the Dimona nuclear facility was initially the stuff of rumor. Even US intelligence agencies didn't uncover its purpose until the 1960s, and for decades it was absent from any publicly available photographs or maps. To this day, the Israeli government will neither confirm nor deny that it is an atomic-weapons factory, preferring an official policy of "nuclear ambiguity." It was this paradoxical pinpoint uncertainty, the structure's quantum mechanical status of something simultaneously there and not there, that led Czech-born Israeli artist Jan Tichy to scour the Internet and other sources for images of the non-site in order to construct a paper model of it. This he placed in his installation Dimona, 2006, a pitch-black room with a narrow beam of light slowly passing over the model like a scanner, revealing on section at a time but never allowing a view of the whole.

. . .

For the full article, download the PDF.