Testing self-destruction.
Archival images of an atom bomb test in 1955 preempt what 1970s cinema will imagine. Two pieces of uncannily similar footage illuminate and contaminate each other.


[When preparing a lecture on 1950s cinema and culture I came across the eerie footage of tests by the US Atomic Energy Commission from 1955 which struck me as foreshadowing the famous ending of Michelangelo Antonioni’s ZABRISKIE POINT. Experimenting with the material and putting it side-by-side revealed even more uncanny interferences between the two sources.

Regarding ZABRISKIE POINT and Antonioni’s take on US consume culture I recommend the respective texts and interviews in the collection Michelangelo Antonioni: The Architecture of Vision. Writings & Interviews on Cinema, New York 1996.

Only later when I had already finished the editing I also found the text „Desert Ends“ by Emily Eliza Scott which among other things points to the connections between Land Art performances and the atom bomb tests in the Nevada desert.]