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Fieldwork II (Chernobyl)

Merilyn Fairskye

Single channel video projection
Colour, silent

Fieldwork continues my longstanding interest in the relationship between the still and moving image. As with my recent works, Stati d’Animo (2005-07) and Aqua (2007), time and duration come into play in different ways in each of these new works: Fieldwork I (Echo Point, Giza, Pripyat) (2009) andFieldwork II (Chernobyl) (2009). 

Fieldwork I and Fieldwork II draw on associations between diverse locations through a framework of time governed by myths and legends, losses and absences. I am drawn to these particular locations because they resonate with some of the central challenges of contemporary life, such as the workable coexistence between people, technology and the environment.

Driving into Chernobyl, a long row of abandoned houses stand on ground still contaminated by radiation. Further along the road the more toxic houses are shrouded in a thick layer of clay. There is a belief that clay can contain the spread of contamination and prevent seepage into the earth. Twenty-two years after the explosion of Reactor 4, the houses await a more permanent burial. 

Merilyn Fairskye 2009

100 minutes