What crazy apes we are

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens – Notebook, 1898

The Art Gallery of Ontario’s Camera Atomica exhibit reminds us of our insane history with nuclear technology. Photographs, documents, publications and moving images offer a long look back over the days of bombing civilians, across the years of atmospheric and underground testing and into todays world of nuclear reactors and radioactive waste.


We still have enough nuclear weapons stockpiled to annihilate ourselves and nuclear energy is far from safe, but the issue has become a museum piece.

Below are two of the video exhibits in the show. First, a fascinating display of the 2053 atomic explosions we detonated between 1945 and 1998.

Canadians are big uranium miners, so our Norman McLaren’s Oscar-winning 1952 film Neighbours was an appropriate part of the installation. You can watch it right here.

Neighbours by Norman McLaren, National Film Board of Canada