A painterly yet digital image of the infamous photograph Atomic Cloud Rises Over Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, shows a blurred 45,000-foot-tall mushroom cloud rising over Nagasaki, a few minutes after the nuclear bomb was detonated in August 9, 1945. By diming the original image, the artist attempts to tarnish the presence of the atomic explosion — in hopes of its complete erasure —, while also preserving the remnant, an important aspect for the construction of the collective memory of a disaster.
Lukas Panek creates paintings and videos that explore the circulation and modification of images nowadays. Starting from various points of entry, he repeatedly directs his attention to the subtleties and economies of contemporary image production. Examining hierarchies within image-driven cultures, Panek dissects not only those between single images and their contents themselves, but further addresses the critical relationship between their use and reproduction. He identifies them as depreciated compan-ions of everyday life, seeking to empower their social dimension in realms that reach much further beyond the private and personal.