Skip to main content
Menu Close
A
platform
for
contemporary
art

23 May 2020 —
16 August 2020

Raúl Ortega Ayala:
The Zone

Raúl Ortega Ayala, Field note 25-03-14-1 (Hallway, Pripyat, Chernobyl), 2017. In collaboration with Roberto Rubalcava and Peter Miles. Photograph, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist
Raúl Ortega Ayala, Field note 14-04-17—1144-1149 (Wallpaper, Pripyat, Chernobyl), 2017 (installation view). In collaboration with Roberto Rubalcava and Peter Miles. Photographic print adhered to wall. 2970mm x 3770mm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone Archive Room, 2020 (installation view). Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone Archive Room, 2020 (installation view). Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone Archive Room, 2020 (detail). Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone Archive Room, 2020 (installation view). Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone Archive Room, 2020 (installation view). Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone Archive Room, 2020 (detail). Ephemera: Greenpeace New Zealand Rainbow Warrior Pacific Peace Voyage, 1985. Original leaflet. 150mm x 209mm. Courtesy of John Miller. Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, Field note 09-05–16-2 (Bookshop Pripyat, Chernobyl), 2016 (installation view). In collaboration with Roberto Rubalcava and Peter Miles. Pigment inks on Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl 310gsm. 1200mm x 1600mm. Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone, 2020 (installation view). Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone, 2020 (installation view). Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone, 2020 (installation view). Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone, 2020 (installation view). Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone, 2020 (installation view). Single channel HD video, 5:1 sound. 36 mins 2 secs. Photo by Sam Hartnett
Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone, 2020 (installation view). Single channel HD video, 5:1 sound. 36 mins 2 secs. Photo by Sam Hartnett

/

Since his first visit to the area surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine in 2013, Mexican-born artist Raúl Ortega Ayala has been involved in a seven-year research project centered on what he calls ‘sites of amnesia and historical detritus’. Engaging specifically with ‘the Zone’, the 30-kilometre exclusion zone around the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster, Ortega Ayala made yearly trips to Ukraine between 2012 and 2018 to conduct interviews with the Zone’s former inhabitants and document through photography and film some of the monumental structures left behind in the affected area.

For the first time in Aotearoa, Te Tuhi presents The Zone, a film recording the stories of four former residents of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, alongside Fieldnotes, a series of large-format photographs and wallpapers documenting derelict spaces in Pripyat and what remains in the homes of the power plant workers. The project serves as a testament to the history of failed technological developments and the repercussions of nuclear disasters; it evidences the Zone as a place overcome by nature and decay, dotted with paraphernalia of an expired political system. The exhibition also includes a comprehensive archive of materials from the artist’s research and from Aotearoa New Zealand’s anti-nuclear movement.

Downloads

The Zone: A conversation between Raúl Ortega Ayala and Gabriela Salgado
The Zone: Roomsheet

Press

Connecting Chernobyl, Mururoa and Rainbow Warrior – EyeContact

Watch

Raúl Ortega Ayala: The Zone Trailer