Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu’s 2012 speech in front of the United Nations’ General Assembly went viral. It was not the content of his message, but his visual aid - a childish illustration of a bomb with a light fuse - that caught the internets’ attention.

Ten years earlier, American strongman, Donald Rumsfeld, publicly used military intelligence lingo “unknown knowns” and “unknown unknowns” in an effort to obfuscate the reasoning behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the weapons in fact never existed.

In the poster, Patir multiplies the original image of Netanyahu’s UN speech and using AI generated images, gives Netanyahu random heads. Mashing the Israeli campaign against Iran’s nuclear proliferation with the US campaign against Iraq’s imagined proliferation, the poster highlights the hypocrisy in global security and foreign affairs, where strongmen get to decide who is qualified to wield the power of ultimate destruction.

Ruth Patir (USA, 1984) fuses documentary with computer-generated imagery in a quest to expand the possibilities of realism. Ruth’s works often begin with the artist’s autobiography, and gradually open up to address larger societal issues, such as the politics of gender, technology, and the hidden mechanisms of power. Ruth Patir is the Israeli representative at the coming Venice Biennale 2024.

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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