About the Photographer
A master of fabricated photo-dramas, Patrick Nagatani stages elaborate tableaux that pursue the issue of nuclear power with a sense of irony. With thorough disregard for the traditional role of photography as an objective documentation of reality, especially scientific reality, Nagatani's narratives offer an animated, color-saturated view of the nuclear and military sites of New Mexico. Magic/Myth/Megation presents a magician next to a particle accelerator in a sardonic comment on faith and illusion in the area of scientific expertise. This image and the others that appeared in the book Nuclear Enchantment (1991) reveal Nagatani's wry sense of humor, mastery of the constructed set, and concern for social issues.
Born in Chicago in 1945, Patrick Nagatani has made his home in New Mexico and turned his attention to this region's atomic history in the series Nuclear Enchantment. His work has recently been presented in one-person exhibitions at The Albuquerque Museum; the California Museum of Photography, University of California, Riverside; CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Isla Center for the Arts at the University of Guam, Mangilao; and at the Royal Photographic Society, Bath, England, among other venues. Nagatani has received numerous honors and awards for his work. His monographs include Nuclear Enchantment (1991) and Patrick Nagatani/Andree Tracey: Polaroid 20 × 24 photographs: 1983—1986 (1987).
Nagatani, Patrick, and Andrée Tracey. Patrick Nagatani/Andrée Tracey: Polaroid 20X24 Photographs: 1983-1986. Tokyo, Japan; Santa Monica, CA : Gallery Min, 1987.
Nagatani, Patrick, and Jasmine Alinder.Virtual Pilgrimage: Patrick Nagatani's Japanese American Concentration Camp Portfolio. Albuquerque: Albuquerque Museum, 1998.
Nagatani, Patrick, and Andrée Tracey. Radioactive Inactives: A Photographic Collaboration Between Patrick Nagatani and Andrée Tracey: September 17-October 22, 1989, Bayly Art Museum of the University of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: The Museum, 1989.