Jeff Weber

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H - The Notion of Humanist Photography,

Publisher: Centre national de l’audiovisuel (CNA)

All That Is Solid Melts into Light
by Michael Baers

In a series of six photographs, artist Jeff Weber documents the restoration process undertaken on the large “Ivy Mike” hydrogen bomb test photo, carried out by Studio Berselli of Milan as part of a general restoration of The Family of Man between 2011 and 2013 under the auspices of the Centre national de l’audiovisuel (CNA), where the exhibition has been on permanent display since 1994. Outside of the delicious paradox presented by documenting a restoration process conducted on an image depicting destruction on a monumental scale, Weber, an artist notable for an interest in blurring what can properly be considered inside or outside a work of art, has described his motivation as a move to contextualize The Family of Man within the era of its creation—the Cold War and nuclear arms race. So contextualized, his photographs of the restoration process become both an antithetical representation of the exhibition and an uncannily accurate depiction of the pervasive political atmosphere in which it traveled.