Am I Too Bright?Published on September 5th, 2011.
Following the nuclear explosion, contamination, and ongoing problems for Japan because of the Fukushima nuclear plant, artworks concerning this incident were bound to appear sooner or later. For the MS Docville Festival in Germany this August, spanish collective luzinterruptus created an eerie installation piece for the festival with 100 glowing human figures in radioactive suits. Titled “Radioactive Control” the figures look down at either their glowing bodies or the ground they walk on. The piece is said to express the humorous paranoia that surrounds the incident in which everyone suddenly become wary of everything from Japan.
A common joke surrounding nuclear contamination for human beings specifically is that you will glow in the dark. That of course isn’t true since I haven’t seen anyone become their own flashlight in the dark yet. Also scientifically speaking, while radioactive decay does give up photons (light) they belong to a spectrum invisible to the human eyes. For me, I find the piece really creepy instead of funny as the original article suggested. The figures appear to be puzzled at their sudden glowing body parts despite the protective gear they wear. In addition with the installation being outside, the glowing aspect suggests the figures are transferring the radioactivity to nature.
This piece has several layers for viewers to digest. From the human figures, their pose, to their clothes, and the environment, everything allow the viewers to have their own interpretation. With it being about the Fukushima incident specifically, the title “Radioactive Control” possibly suggest the downfall to trying to control nuclear energy and the scary consequence.