Dogs of Future Earth
Opening for Julia Oldham’ solo exhibition at The Blue House Gallery October 13th 6-9PM!
About the Artist: Julia Oldham is an artist and storyteller who was raised by a physicist, a rock hound and a pack of dogs in rural Maryland. Born the same year as the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, Oldham has been consumed by scientific curiosity her entire life, and has sought through her work to understand the unknowable and transcend humanness. She blends digital media and drawing to tell stories that she finds both troubling and beautiful, ranging from the historical tale of Laika the Soviet Space Dog’s journey into orbit to science fiction visions of a post-apocalyptic future world populated by high-tech chihuahuas. She frequently collaborates with scientists and finds hidden love stories in particle physics and theoretical mathematics, and ghost stories in wetland ecology. Oldham builds her alternate realities by combining photography and video with fantastical hand-drawn characters and landscapes; and this process results in work that rides a fine line between the real and unreal.
From the artist: The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster began on April 26 1986, when there was an explosion in Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Power Plant. Over 100,000 residents of the areas surrounding the plant were quickly evacuated on buses and told to leave everything behind — their belongings, their pets, their vehicles — and were assured they’d be back in a few days’ time. There are stories of dogs chasing the buses and howling as their owners were borne away. Of course, the evacuees never came home.
Workers called liquidators began a Sisyphean cleanup effort that continues today. There is a 1000 square mile area called the exclusion zone which surrounds the plant and encompasses the areas that were most contaminated by the event. There are still thousands of workers that are devoting their lives to cleaning up the zone.
Shortly after the immediate clean up effort, the government ordered to have the animals in the area shot, because they were afraid these creatures were contaminated and dangerous. Most were killed, but some survived. The descendants of those original pet dogs who struggled to survive in the Zone made their way to the power plant, where workers struggling to contain the contamination have been caring for them for the last several decades.
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The Blue House Gallery is located at 3325 Catalpa Drive Dayton Ohio 45405 and our open hours are 4-6pm every Friday during exhibitions