April 28 - May 21, 2005

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to present the Canadian premiere of photographs of Chernobyl by Robert Polidori. Polidori visited Chernobyl for three days in 2001 – fifteen years after reactor number four exploded during a safety test. This was the worst nuclear accident in history, forcing the evacuation of 350,000 people and rendering the area uninhabitable for the next several thousand years. Polidori’s large-scale photographs of the plant and abandoned homes and schools in the evacuated area are unforgettable: not only in their reflection of untold devastation and deterioration but also their ethereal quality achieved with the delicate, saturated illumination of natural light. The obsessive detail of these images stands in stark contrast to the eerie quality of a place that has not received human attention for so many years. Polidori writes, “As time passes, our memory of the Chernobyl catastrophe begins to fade. The radioactive half-lives of elements, however, are not subject to this form of accelerated, subjective amnesia”.


Robert Polidori is Canadian born and lives in New York City. He has traveled and photographed extensively, gaining access to restricted sites as diverse as Petra, Ceausescu’s Casa Poporului, Versailles and the once opulent private residences of Havana.