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Rooms of Now #9


16 – 18 September 2022
Middelburg (Map)
Various locations

Radiant Movie Nights

Curator: Luuk Vulkers

Photo: Anda van Riet | Rooms of Now #9

During Rooms of Now #9: Radiant Movie Nights, Vleeshal showed films on three consecutive evenings, each dealing with nuclear power in a very different way. As part of Vleeshal's nomadic program Rooms of Now, the screenings took place in living rooms of Middelburg residents, highlighting the complicated relationship between the nuclear, the public and the private.

Hiroshima Mon Amour, Alain Resnais, 1959, 90’
Friday 16 September
Opening: 19:30, Start film: 20:00
Language: French, English subtitles

La Jetée, Chris Marker, 1962, 29’
Saturday 17 September
Opening: 19:30, Start film: 20:00
Language: French, English subtitles

Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988, 124’
Sunday 18 September
Opening: 19:30, Start film: 20:00
Language: Japanese, Dutch subtitles

The discovery of nuclear fission, a powerful atomic reaction with destructive potentials, occurred in 1938 following over four decades of research on radioactivity. Once this process was experimentally confirmed, on the cusp of World War II, scientists in many countries began nuclear fission research in search of a nuclear weapon. In the United States, these research efforts led to a top secret project of enormous scale, the Manhattan Project, which finally resulted in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It was the inauguration of a nuclear era. Atomic weapons became the pivot of the Cold War's international arms race, but at the same time, atomic energy emerged as a power source with enormous potential. As such, the notion of the atomic came to exist at a complicated junction between destruction and construction. This is reflected in the cultural reception of the atomic: on the one hand, for example, there was "atomic tourism" in the desert near Las Vegas throughout the 1950s, and on the other hand, a generation grew up with the idea that doomsday was permanently luring in the near future, which resulted in a deeply pessimistic fatalism among many.

In the present world, the impact of war and climate change force us to reassess the meaning of the nuclear. Its ubiquitous presence reaches beyond our front doors, into the realm of the private. The only Dutch nuclear plant, for example, can be found in Zeeland's Borssele, an hour by bike from Middelburg. And yet, the impact of the nuclear on the ways in which we lead our daily lives remains largely unexplored in current public debates.


In 2015 Vleeshal kicked of its Nomadic Program, as an extension of its existing exhibition program in Middelburg. In its Nomadic Program Vleeshal goes on tour, organising exhibitions and other events in collaboration with venues in the Netherlands and abroad, such as Art Rotterdam, Amsterdam Art Weekend, the Spring Performance Festival, WIELS Art Book Fair, Brussels and Poppositions, Brussels.

Rooms of Now is a project series in which an (inter)national artist is invited to create an artistic intervention in people's homes, in Middelburg. The title is borrowed from a photography project from the artist Maurice van Es, who realised the first edition of Rooms of Now. The series took place from 2019–2022.

Rooms of Now is the follow up of the public program So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood.

This project was made possible by the generous support of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the municipality of Middelburg