New Mexico Art Tells its History

Portal to Archimedes Chamber

Portal to Archimedes' Chamber; Oppenheimer / Archimedes'#1; Oppenheimer / Archimedes' #2, 1990
Meridel Rubenstein and Ellen Zweig
palladium prints, steel, laser discs and players, video monitors.
Museum purchase with funds from the Jordie M. Chilson Estate, 1997

Meridel Rubenstein is a photographer who collages and assembles photographs together in order to convey meaning in her work. In this piece, Rubenstein focuses on the creation of the atom bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the interactions between the scientists and members of the small rural community around them. Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project, and Edith Warner, the owner of a small tearoom next to the bridge that led to Los Alamos, are featured in this artwork. Rubenstein creates a sculpture with found photos, video footage and her own photographs, and presents multiple perspectives and fragments of this story. It is up to us to piece the fragments together and discover whatever meaning on our own.

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