Ordinary Hauntings in Irradiated Land

  • Marisa Karyl Franz (Author)


Examining three art projects that rely upon the materiality of nuclear exclusion zones in Chornobyl and Fukushima, I propose a framework of haunting to understand how everyday things become saturated with the everyday lives of those who lived with them. These art pieces (Michael Marder and Anaïs Tondeur’s Chernobyl Herbarium, Eva and Franco Mattes’s Fukushima Texture Pack, and Ai Weiwei’s А Ray of Hope) do not represent or document the disaster as momentary or as spectacular, but as a slow durational violence that is experienced in the daily lives of people, the land, and the material things left behind after evacuation. Rather than an aestheticisation of disaster itself or of the Zones as post-apocalyptic pastoral, these works haunt us with the ordinary affect of human habitation in what are now exclusion zones and mourn the loss of a familiar and everyday place of home.


Hauntology, Ghosts, Affect, Art, Nuclear Exclusion Zone