Bryson’s work is inspired by her ongoing research on radiotrophic fungi, which she has been conducting over the past year with Slovenian artist, Saša Spacal. Radiotrophic fungi (the black and purple circular spots in the image) are capable of metabolizing radiation in their bodies in a process akin to photosynthesis. These fungi have been found not only growing, but thriving, in areas containing high levels of radiation — specifically at the number four reactor in Chernobyl. Radiotrophic fungi are also capable of shielding against such harmful radiation through melanin pigment production. NASA has been researching this potential, hypothesizing that these could be used in space to shield astronauts from ionizing radiation. Bryson and Spacal have created an ongoing artwork speculatively addressing the application of radiotrophic fungi as shields against atomic radiation in their project Radiotrophic Fungarium or How to Make A Coat for Marie Curie. As the climate changes, and nuclear threat is imminent, the artists believe it is essential to work with multiple species for survival. By developing symbiotic, interspecies relationships, they imagine radiotrophic fungi growing into shields, shelters, and clothing to protect both human and non-human lives.

Kaitlin Bryson is a queer, ecological/bio artist concerned with environmental and social justice. Her practice is research-based and most often collaborative, highlighting the potency of working like lichens to achieve radical change and justice.

Organized by Estudio Pedro Reyes
in collaboration with ICAN

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB is an exhibition of posters that call for universal nuclear disarmament. Each made by a different artist, the group comprises historical and newly
commissioned works that detail a cultural history of disarmament movements and evidence the diversity of ways in which artists have expressed the need to ban the bomb. ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB is designed for maximum agility and economic effectiveness, relying on a black and white palette both for its impact and ease o reproduction. We asked artists to ensure their works can exist on a variety of supports, ephemera such as posters, postcards, billboards, banners, flags, t-shirts and social media posts, as we aspire to achieve the widest possible circulation of this message.

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB presents the works of foundational conceptual artists Art & Language; pop hero, Keith Haring; legendary feminists, Guerrilla Girls; performance artists Regina José Galindo and Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, as well
as eminent sculptors Magdalena Abakanowicz and Isamu Noguchi. It also features indelible photographs by Robert Del Tredici and Ken Domon alongside protest graphics from social movements such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), founded in 1958 and still active; the epic Peace Squadron and Visual Artists Against Nuclear Arms (VAANA); and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Additionally, it examines how stories are told, from the theater of Bread and Puppet to films like Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and Marguerite Duras / Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour, to an unexpected survey of literature, from an early
anticipation of an atomic bomb, first envisioned by H.G. Wells in 1918, to the viscera spoken word poetry of Jayne Cortez.

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB, organized by Estudio Pedro Reyes in collaboration with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is presented on the occasion of the Second Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) held at the United Nations in 2023.

To organize en exhibition of ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB please contact curatorial assistant Verana Codina.

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