Lucy Raven: Socorro! (Edition of 500 signed copies)
Pamela M. Lee, David Levi Strauss (essays)
Between 2021 and 2022, artist Lucy Raven created a series of more than sixty unique silver gelatin shadowgrams at an explosives range in New Mexico, often used as a test site by the US Department of Defense and private munition companies. From within a custom-built room-sized black box purpose-built on the site, Raven recorded the elemental pressures of air and the raw materials that constitute the explosive event by exposing photosensitive paper for micro-seconds. These empirical experiments resulted in the subtly inflected abstractions that are collected in this artist’s book.
The town where the explosives range is located was given its name, Socorro (meaning ‘succour’ or ‘relief’), by ailing Spanish settlers when Piro Native Americans welcomed them with water. Raven became interested in this location, which is also close to the very first sites of nuclear weapon testing, whilst filming for the second of a cinematic trilogy of latter-day Westerns, each of which investigates properties of pressure, force, and material transformation in relation to the Western United States, past and present.