The concept of containment arises from the idea that isolation leads to stagnation, and has been central to North America’s political policies, materialized as a set of strategies and design techniques to avoid losses in storage facilities, usually of toxic, radioactive and harmful materials. In this context, the project analyzes nuclear disposal infrastructures; Postnatural architectures designed to confine radioactive waste and built to remain intact for thousands of years. These eternal monuments are the result of the political economies of selection of the territories where the nuclear and radioactive history of the United States could, if not disappear, remain almost invisible, safe and controlled.
As an alternative archaeological approach, in terms of both material depth and temporality, An Archeology of Containment reveals the tensions that have always been implicit in such containment strategies: a tension between the physical and the invisible, between the material and the ethereal, between security and toxicity, between containment and expansion, raising a discussion around issues such as political ecologies, critical archeologies and the dissolution of the nature-culture binomial.
The complexities that derive from such conflicts and contradictions are related to the political agendas that these sites have mobilized throughout history, and also to the technologies, protocols and legal frameworks that have been built around them. Through a constellation of archival documents, trips, photographs and research materials, this project exhumes the north american territories of radioactive waste, dissected as contemporary geologies and analyzed in the context of the Anthropocene. The exhibition then becomes not only a material archive, but a critical tool that investigates how fixed and binary categories such as "visible" and "invisible", "technical" and "cultural ", "safe " and " toxic " loose meaning, destabilizing the concept of containment linked to these territories, its political agendas and institutions, and claims that in the context of nuclear waste, the containers of modernity seem to lose their capacity to contain.