One night pop-up exhibition and reception
Friday, April 28, from 7 – 9pm
Free and open to the public / Artist in attendance
David B. Smith Gallery is proud to present its first one night pop-up exhibition with Denver artist Megan Gafford, titled Traces. In the entirety of the main gallery are two separate yet conceptually intertwined installation works, Hormesis and Subatomic Chorus.
Hormesis, the title of one of the pieces, is also the name of the hypothesis that asserts that low doses of radiation are healthy. This is a controversial theory, as some scientists believe that any amount of exposure has the potential to cause serious genetic harm. Hormesis exposes viewers to low doses of gamma radiation emitted from live uranium ore, enabling one to observe the imperceptible. Included in the installation is a particle detector housing uranium, where the rock’s radioactive decay creates visible condensation trails in an alcohol cloud; making visible the history of each particle’s path through space and time. Along with the machine, a video projection of the phenomenon magnified offers an intimate view of the subatomic world.
Also featured in Traces is Subatomic Chorus, an ominous grouping of five handmade Geiger counters that chirp every time they detect background radiation, as if singing together in a choir. These machines are sensitive enough to detect low-level radiation that is constantly present in the environment, which originates from outer space, uranium in the earth, and the residual radiation from nuclear bombs. Subatomic Chorus draws attention to the invisible, subatomic world that impacts our DNA in ways in which are not fully comprehended by modern theory and technology at this time. Scientists are still debating whether low-level radiation is helpful or harmful. Subatomic Chorus compels viewers to confront the unknown.
Through the introduction and exposure to the world of subatomic processes constantly occurring inside and around us, Gafford renders the fantastic intelligible. Acting as opposing yet harmonious forces in Traces, Hormesis and Subatomic Chorus actively create and monitor radioactive events, drawing attention to the uncharted space between scientific theory, proven fact, and enigma.