The Forbidden Box (1995)is an installation of two large-scale Iris inkjet prints depicting the mushroom cloud created by the explosion of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Yukinori Yanagi selected the image from a 1946 Japanese newspaper and printed it on sheer fabric. The panels are embellished with the words of the Japanese constitution’s Article 9, which renounces the nation’s ability to wage war and was originally drafted by General Douglas MacArthur after the end of World War II. The MacArthur version is printed in English on the rear panel, while the Japanese version— which is written in a much more conciliatory tone—and its English translation can be found on the front panel. The juxtaposition of the two texts allows for a comparison of the cultural differences between the United States and Japan. Below the billboard-size prints, Yanagi placed an open lead box with the words “Little Boy”—the name of the bomb—inscribed on the lid. The box is a reference to a Japanese folktale called Urashima Taro.

Yukinori Yanagi (Fukuoka, 1959) is a Japanese artist who employing systems of signs and symbols, creates sculptures and installations that address geopolitical borders, national identity and history, and territories. Since 1986, Yanagi’s unconventional work —which has used, for example, ants and dung beetles—has consistently addressed the issue of movement.

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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