Clay Lipsky delivers a powerful statement through a series of composite photographs, “Atomic Overlook.” The photographs, post-manipulation, depict a parallel reality in which above-ground nuclear tests are nothing more than commonplace. Tourists and families observe with enthusiasm the typical mushroom clouds born from nuclear explosions.
As if they were watching a fireworks display, the individuals in the photographs point their fingers in excitement and aim their cameras toward the blasts in the distance. Lipsky targets the present-day desensitization toward nuclear weapons and stockpiling, and elevates this to new heights in a satiric portrait of the atomic era.
By placing the audience two degrees of separation from the atomic catastrophes – we are the observers of the observers – Lipsky is able to condemn human fascination in destruction and hostility. In describing his project, Lipsky states that he “can only hope that mankind will never again suffer the wrath of such a destructive force, but it is clear that the world would not hesitate to watch.