Trinity Site Series

2007- 2008
C-prints [some on metallic paper]
Dimensions vary: 18″ x 13.5″ through 48″ x 64″

Text from the exhibition TEN MILLION DEGREES
From 2006-2008, Valdes visited the Trinity Test Site in New Mexico on the two days of the year it is open to the public. In the photographs, “Zero,” “End Times,” “Provenance,” and “Vestiges,” she exposes the ‘radioactive’ landscape and explores notions of place, memory and history in this highly charged and emotional site of America’s past.

“Zero,” (2008) is a photograph of a structure situated directly next to Ground Zero where the Trinity Test was conducted. This shelter protects a portion of the original crater created by the blast. Valdes complicates the image by enhancing the colors, imbuing the subject with an imagined radioactivity. This move from actual to imagined puts into question our expectations and collective vision of what this site means.

“End Times,” (2008) is a pseudo-documentary photograph of a performance near the McDonald Ranch house at the Trinity Site. Here, Valdes embodies the fear of the bomb, reenacting what it could have been like on Ground Zero, July 16, 1945. In doing so, she interrogates our collective fear while questioning the source of that fear—images deployed in the media and etched on our consciousness purporting to represent these horrific events.

“Vestiges,” (2008) is a black and white photograph of the remains of corrals and holding pens adjacent to the McDonald Ranch house. It documents actual ruins, showing how the blast from the Trinity Test made the roof bow inwards and how some of the roofing was completely blown away. The drama of this landscape evokes images of the Hiroshima ground zero and its devastation.

Various works featured at:
• IDEA Space @ Colorado College
• LAWRIMORE Project, Seattle[solo exhibition]
• Aqua Art Miami, w/ Lawrimore Project, Seattle
• SAM Gallery, Santiago, Chile[2 person exhibition]