press release

TORCH gallery Amsterdam is proud to host Dust; the most recent body of work by award-winning photographer Nadav Kander. For this latest project Kander investigated the hidden remnants of the Cold War, contained within a few secret cities on the border between Kazakhstan and Russia. With a clear interest in the poetic aesthetics of destruction and desolation, Kander spent three years reflecting on an area where hundreds of atomic bombs were tested. Contrary to the official reports this area was still populated at the time of the tests. The unsuspecting inhabitants were closely monitored by scientists for the effects of nuclear radiation. Nadav Kander carefully explored the darker side of humanity while keeping a keen eye on the Geiger-counter attached to his belt.

Kurchatov and Priozersk, formally known as ‘Moscow 10', were closed cities, restricted military zones, concealed and not shown on maps until they were ‘discovered' via Google Earth. Made subject to scientists and warmongers, these sites were utilized for the covert testing of long distance missiles and atomic weapons. Hundreds of atomic bombs were detonated in the so-called "Polygon" near Kurchatov until the program ended in 1989. Leveled to preserve their military secrets, the areas now consist predominantly of the ruinous architecture and desolate landscapes featured in Kander's fascinating and hauntingly alluring photographs. Although these photographs are beautiful, they don't divert the attention from the horror of a global arms race. They stand testament to our more destructive side and evoke an atmosphere of hidden danger.

Dust will be the first solo-exhibition by Nadav Kander in the Netherlands. The artist is represented by Flowers gallery (London) and has exhibited extensively worldwide. Born in 1961 and based in London, he is a recipient of the renowned Prix Pictet and one of today's most successful photographers. In 2009 Kander was named International Photographer of the Year at the 7th Annual Lucie Awards. His work appears regularly in many international publications such as The New York Times Magazine and Time Magazine. He has made several iconic portraits of Barack Obama and his staff. Nadavs work is housed in several public collections including National Portrait Gallery, London, Pictet & Cie in Geneva, Société Générale in France and the Frank Suss Collection. He has exhibited internationally at venues including Musée de L'Elysee, Lausanne, The Barbican gallery, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, Kennedy's Museum, Berlin, The Photographers' Gallery and Somerset House, London, Palais de Tokyo, Paris and Herzilya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel. Monographs include Beauty's Nothing (2001), Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man (2013), Yangtze, The Long River (2010) and Dust (2014).