Excursion (noun): (1.) a short journey or trip, especially one engaged in as a leisure activity. (2.) a deviation from a regular pattern, path, or level of operation. (3.) A sudden, very rapid rise in the power level of a nuclear reactor caused by supercriticality, or an increase in the level of operation of the reactor.
In 2010, Michigan-based artist Marat Paransky began making sculptures from household items related to nuclear emergencies and human health. The objects were consciously built on second-hand memories of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and its ties to his childhood. They were meant to explore the accident as a historical event, a cultural construct, and a personal experience. Since then, the project has grown to include both 3D and 2D work in addition to research documents. Now, it not only encompasses other highly visible disasters around the globe but also considers the artist’s changing personal relationships to them – his role as an artist to respond meaningfully to global issues, his personal anxieties about the nuclear age, and his dawning responsibilities as a father.
“Today, I think of my work as a museum of sculptures, photographs, drawings, paintings, prints, and an archive of books and articles. When the works are displayed together, they bounce themes, forms and ideas off of each other…This interdependence among the works functions to discourage the typical black-and-white thinking that plagues the debate on nuclear. After all, I find that I am much more interested in its surrounding myths, uncertainty, and absurdity.”
Marat Paranksy is a sculptor, painter, photographer and mixed-media artist living and working in Farmington Hills, MI. Born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1986, much of his work for this project is rooted in second-hand memories of Chernobyl from his childhood. In 1997, his family moved to Metro Detroit, where he received a BFA in Drawing & Printmaking from Wayne State University. Paransky has an MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. He has exhibited throughout Michigan, Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA, Reading, PA, Fayetteville, AR, and Windsor, ON.
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