CHERNOBYL 35 Years Later by Desiderio


On the 26th of April 2021, 35 years after the nuclear accident that took place on the night of April 26 1986 at 1:23:45 am, the cultural organization Art Company presents the VR Project “CHERNOBYL 35 Years Later”, of the visual artist Desiderio, curated by Chiara Canali

Chernobyl was one of the most serious human and environmental disasters in the history of mankind. Over thirty thousand deaths. One hundred cities and villages emptied. Five million people destined to undergo medical checks. Thousands of malformed newborns across Europe. 2.800 square km of water, flora and fauna contaminated forever.

To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl tragedy, Desiderio devised a VR project titled CHERNOBYL 35 Years Later, which collects a series of short films and pictorial works made in 2009 on the occasion of the Apocalypse Wow! Exhibition at the Marco Testaccio art museum. The paintings simulate, in a post-apocalyptic light, a planet recently ravaged by devastating destruction, in which a giant snail moves slowly, ridden by the artist who wears a gas mask.

More specifically, the works of the Chernobyl series materializes the effects generated on humanity by the radioactive contamination through a pictorial sequence of portraits that depict children who hold in their arms two-headed pets or pets affected by peculiar genetic duplication diseases. The horror and devastation originated from human error are opposed to the childlike ingenuity of a youthful universe that considers “pets” the deformed beings that the works present.

Desiderio’s painting is utopian and visionary and proceeds through flashbacks and flash-forwards, just like it happens in the language of the video; often he creates composition spaces which are similar to real cinematographic sets, artifice theatres, and which become expressive metaphors through which Desiderio criticizes the faults and errors of the past, with the hope they won’t perpetuate in the future.