The Light at the End of History presents photographs from artist Abbey Hepner‘s decade-long examination of nuclear energy, the atomic bomb, and radioactive waste. By capturing distinct marks in time, Hepner makes visible the ongoing, often invisible, relationships with nuclear technologies.
The book features images from 8 series of works that include X-Ray film photographs, cyanotype on bone, laser engraved photographs, and uranium prints.
Publisher: Daylight Books (2021)
Photo Credit: © Abbey Hepner by courtesy of Daylight Books
Header Photo: Towers, archival pigment print, from The Light at the End of History, Part 7: Control Room
By The Way
Soundtrack for the documentary Inside Chernobyl. A short film based on current conditions in Chernobyl & Pripyat. All tracks written & performed by Adrian Musto.
Hepner grew up between the Nevada Test Site and the Idaho National Laboratory, where the United States engaged in extensive nuclear testing and reactor experimentation. Fast forward to 2013, and she was living in Japan helping with disaster relief following the tsunami when earthquakes caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. She is a conceptual artist with a deft ability to pivot her messaging style and visual aesthetic to communicate directly or subvertly, analytically or emotionally. The result is a complex, multi-faceted book project examining the tangled history of nuclear energy, the atomic bomb, and radioactive waste.
As Kirsten Pai Buick writes in her accompanying essay, “The nuclear industry is inextricably bound to politics—local, national, and global. And in Hepner’s quest to understand its details, its totality, and its interconnectedness she has traveled to places as a spectator where, as a perceivable outsider (whether through gender, race, or nationality), she was often in danger of becoming the spectacle. Brilliantly, she learned to shift the attention to a spectacle of her making and regain her agency as spectator.”
Book Specs: The Light at the End of History by Abbey Hepner published by Daylight Books (2021) | Designed by Ursula Damm | Essay by Kirsten Pai Buick | Paper over Board | 8 x 10 in | 144 pages | 85 Color | ISBN 9781942084976. Available here.
Abbey Hepner is an artist and educator based outside of St. Louis Missouri. She is Assistant Professor of Photography at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She holds a BFA in Art and a BA in Psychology from the University of Utah and an MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally.