Growth and Decay – David McMillan
Since 1994 Scottish-born Canadian photographer David McMillan (born 1945) has journeyed 21 times to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Inspired by his teenage memories of Nevil Shute’s On the Beach (1957), a disturbing vision of the world following nuclear war, McMillan found in Pripyat the embodiment of an irradiated city still standing but void of human life. As one of the first artists to gain access to “The Zone,” McMillan initially explored the evacuated areas with few constraints and in solitude, save for an occasional scientist monitoring the effects of radioactivity. Returning year after year enabled him to revisit the sites of earlier photographs–sometimes fortuitously, sometimes by design–bearing witness to the forces of nature as they reclaimed the abandoned communities. Above all, his commitment has been to probe the relentless dichotomy between growth and decay in The Zone.
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