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LOVE CANAL USA
BETTY BEAUMONT is currently exhibiting a selection of 12 photographic prints from her LOVE CANAL USA series in the group exhibition 'Nobodies Home,' at the Kunstbunker-Forum in Nuremberg, Germany.
June 2 - July 2, 2000
Kunstbunker-Forum f Zeitg. Kunst e.V.-Bauhof 9, 90402 Nuremberg
Tel 0911/244 8494-Fax 244 8595
"Nobodies Home" is a group show that addresses living space and alienation. The artworks and texts for this exhibition have been chosen for their relevance to the alienation produced by an ever-expanding corporate capitalism that, in its endless creation of new markets is leaving an increasingly homogenized culture in its wake. In addition to Betty Beaumont's work, the exhibit features work by Michelle Bertomen, David Boyle and Brooklyn Architects Collective; Herman Gabler; Dan Graham; Larry Krone; Allan Mc Collum; Donna Neild; Mauricio Dias and Walter Reidweg; Heidi Schlatter; Peter Scott; Day Gleason and Dennis Thomas; and Anton Vidokle.
Betty Beaumont's work, LOVE CANAL USA, is a series of photographs taken in 1978 in the Love Canal neighborhood in Lewiston, New York at the time of the poisoning of this community. They were printed in 1999-2000 when the redevelopment of this area - for the next generation of workers - began.
The Love Canal in Lewiston, New York, near Niagara Falls, was used by Hooker Chemical Company as a dumping site for over a decade. The chemical wastes that were poured into the empty canal eventually migrated throughout the soil of the entire, later developed, Love Canal neighborhood. The resulting contamination to groundwater lead to health problems, including chromosome damage to many children, and finally the evacuation of the community by the state.
The Love Canal photographs address the environmental history of the town while imaging the identity of a community through its architecture. Although these formal images are a signifier of "home," the houses are boarded up and abandoned - evidence of the endgame in our disposable society. Beaumont's use of repetition and frontal, documentary style photography addresses the mass-produced American vernacular of this community. Beaumont's achievement is the reclamation of a history that was meant to be erased. She challenges us to include in our chronicle of the past the lessons of industrial tragedy as well as progress.
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