Bangkok Post reviews
Artist's take on radium girls reflects on modern dangers
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: September 4, 2013 at 8:38 am
Melting Godzilla by Claude Estebe.
The "Radium Girls" exhibition showcases the latest works by resident artist Claude Estebe.
The French photographer started this series in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011. At that time Estebe, a specialist in the field of Japanese visual culture, was already engaged in a research about Godzilla and Japanese monster movies.
The series links his previous works involving cheap, mass-produced toys and his long-time research on Japanese subculture.
"Radium Girls" is a reference to the 1920s lawsuit filed by five dying young women against the US Radium Corporation for letting them work with fluorescent radium paint without any protection.
Radium Girl by Claude Estebe.
The company's management concealed the risks of radioactivity to their employees but took considerable precautions for themselves. Eventually, helped by wide media coverage, the Radium Girls won their case in the autumn of 1928. A few died soon afterwards.
Estebe challenges the uncanny difficulty of embodying radioactivity. He produces an oxymoronic dialectical relationship between sensual, intellectual, and dramatic experiences, and between modern technologies and their dangers.