Artist Statement | Marat Paransky

Pr0n is a series of photographs that depict decay and rebirth.  It is a study and critique of three decades’ worth of nuclear disaster zone photography and tourism. My aim with this project is to attempt to understand the dual interests of traveling far away to see sights of suffering and of experiencing pain vicariously.

Slang for porn, the word ‘pr0n’ is a way of hiding the true identity of pornographic material from search engines, spouses, bosses, etc. Pr0n plays with this definition and the so-called “ruin porn” photography.

Pr0n consists of photographs taken at unspecified zones of suffering—going through some sort of unnatural disaster—as well as in other, unaffected locations. My decision to photograph a particular location is based on a combination of factors:

  • My vision of the real Zones of Exclusion near Chernobyl and Fukushima.
  • Visual parallels between the given place and the images made by Western photographers traveling to Ukraine and Japan.                                   
  • The extensive research on nuclear accidents and contamination.
  • Theories about depicting the “Other” in art and documentary photography.

pr0n 01

pr0n 02