Magdalena Mellin


Feels like home

“feels like home” is an installation which directly refers to Signs from Oak Ridge, Tennessee Manhattan Project facility where uranium for the first atomic bombs was purified. Oak Ridge was one of three American secret cities that developed the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing an end to World War II. The city, now called Oak Ridge, once was home to 75,000 people, yet it did not appear on any map. From one side dwellers created a self-sufficient perfect community detached from any influences from outside- perfect home. However there were lots of signs and billboards imposing them manner of behaviour and emphasizing the importance of keeping everything as highly top secret. Till the very end of the war they didn’t know what exactly they were doing.


On big scale painted billboards I want to recall images from Oak Ridge, those idyllic life scenes under the severe orders and dispositions to keep the secret. Slogans very often reflect upon notion of home. It supposed to associate with informality, relaxation, privacy, full acceptance, security, and trust, here its meaning is ‘contaminated’. By bringing the images from Manhattan Project ‘home’ I want to show that distortions of language and corruption of meaning, is strategy typical for mechanism of power.


The rest depends on us… In between dark clime of memory- “I don’t remember anything at all”, I see the bright space of imagination. It is connecting me with that what had been gone before I remembered everything. Memory is a fluxes matter. And we all are embedded in being here and now, and awaiting oblivion. Appreciating the experience of this moment in life is one of the source of the desire to last.