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Steve Gurysh

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts


Steve Gurysh creates wild economies of energy. While his process employs methods of research, illogical premises often drive his work towards inventive and playful scenarios, requiring alternate logics and conceptual leaps of faith. Here, the act of storytelling becomes activated by production: weaving myth, historical narrative, and invented experience into potent objects, public interventions, and temporary experiences. In his new work, The Long Cloud, Gurysh compresses the transit and transmutation of radioactive ore into a photographic object. In 2012, he travelled to the south island of New Zealand to collect a sample of uranium ore from an abandoned prospecting site. The uranium was later extracted from the ore to produce an uranotype, a photographic process which uses the radioactive material to create an image. Using this process, Gurysh reproduced an image taken by New Zealand photographer Gil Hanley depicting the ceremonial sinking of the the Rainbow Warrior in Matauri Bay. In 1985, the Greenpeace flagship was preparing to sail to Moruroa Atoll in order to disrupt a French nuclear weapons test. Just prior to departure, the Rainbow Warrior was bombed, sinking the ship, and killing a photographer on board. The bombing was discovered to be an act of sabotage by French agents. The Long Cloud spans the history of nuclear science with photographic technology standing as both witness and co-conspirator. Although, in its current state, the work scales well beyond a human experience of time. As a Geiger counter clicks to each decaying atom, we register the slow transformation of the printed image into inert matter, as The Long Cloud mutates from uranium to lead over the next several million years.


Gurysh received his Master's of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. He is also the co-founder and project manager for The Drift, a floating platform for temporary art and creative projects that explore the three rivers in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the recipient of numerous awards and has exhibited projects in places such as La Société des arts technologiques in Montréal, Canada, The Engine Room in Wellington, New Zealand, The Sculpture Center in Cleveland, OH, Cabinet Magazine's Exhibition Space in Brooklyn, NY, and the center of the Allegheny River.