Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario
13 February 2020 – 10 May 2020
Two-channel video installation (duration: 35 minutes)
Trinity Site, New Mexico, marks the testing of the world’s first atomic bomb on July 16, 1945, three weeks prior to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Conducted under the auspices of the Manhattan Project, the development and use of atomic weapons presented new orders of destructive capability. Today the area surrounding the original test site is named the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) and remains active in the steady advancement of sophisticated military technologies. Two days each year, WSMR hosts an Open House and thousands of visitors come to experience where the atomic age began. In the making of Trinity 3, Mary Kavanagh conducted hundreds of on-site interviews with visitors who have made the pilgrimage, often for complex reasons.
Weaving together archival sequences of military personnel building the bomb, contemporary video portraits and interviews, as well as footage of the landscape itself, Kavanagh creates a filmic montage that is in turn jarring, poetic and inscrutable.