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Nadav Kander (born 1961) is a recipient of the renowned Prix Pictet and one of today's most successful photographers. Upon learning of the existence of two "closed" cities on the border between Kazakhstan and Russia, he decided to visit them. For Dust he photographed the desolated landscapes of the Aral Sea and the restricted military zones of Priozersk and Kurtchatov, which did not appear on any map until well after the end of the Cold War. Long-distance missiles were secretly tested in Priozersk, and hundreds of atomic bombs were detonated in the so-called Polygon near Kurchatov, until the program ended in 1989. The bombs were exploded in a remote but still populated area, and covert studies were made of the effects of the radiation on the unsuspecting inhabitants. Kander describes how the ticking of the Geiger counter on his belt while he photographed served as a foil against the aesthetic allure of the ruins.
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Through this new series of fascinating pictures, Kander continues his exploration of the darker side of our nature, of mankind. He writes how the ticking of the Geiger counter on his belt while he photographed reminded him that he should not become too enthralled with the aesthetic and painterly allure of the crumbling ruins. As Will Self writes about Kander's pictures in his introduction to the book, "these images do not make beautiful what is not, they ask of us that we repurpose ourselves to accept a new order of both the beautiful and the real."--The Editors "L'oeil de la Photographie " The pictures in Nadav Kander's DUST (Hatje Cantz) were made at nuclear test sites on the border between Russia and Kaakhstan that the Soviets had bulldozed, abandoned, and wiped off their maps. Kander says he's drawn to ruins for their combination of beauty and melancholy and theres plenty of both in these contaminated sites and waht remains of a nearby inland sea, once vast, now drained and desolate.--Vince Aletti "Photograph Magazine "

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