Freies Museum, Berlin
September 15 – October 11, 2012, solo exhibition
In the exhibition 100.000, BENTEN CLAY combines various works realized under the topic Nuclear Waste. That is part of the long term project titled Age of an End in which BENTEN CLAY analyzes the appearance of the now by assessing the limitations of natural resources and the volatility inherent to the human pursuit of control.
A time scale of 100.000 years opens up when reposing nuclear waste; a time span during which the spent fuel rods are still radiating. Onkalo—the world’s first final repository for nuclear high-level waste, currently being built in Olkiluoto, Finland— is the core around which the exhibition casts its net.
Significant for this installative presentation is the dense threading of different photographic and filmic works. Documentary photographs present temporary housing containers, bio indicators in the form of illuminated moss and open views into a landscape under which nuclear waste will be stored in the future. These are paired with a sequence of large-format staged portraits of a functionary conveying a profound decision to the public while hands reach towards his head from all sides, in layered gestures of reassurance and consolation. Divergent to these portraits are video sequences that flicker as subtle commentaries; meshing the composed worlds of Minecraft with excerpts from an information video of Posiva Oy (the operating company of Onkalo) and the footage of a car driving through unknown terrain.
The above findings merge themselves with BENTEN CLAYs Research & Development division, responsible of analyzing the repository's construction parameters and its surrounding eco systems. The divisions' studies result in photographic tableaus, videos and graphics that tint excerpts from official scientific data with irony, evoking questions of the possibility of controlling eternity while integrating themselves into a vast fabric of implausibilities.