Black cloud

Just Mad Madrid 2016

Black Cloud


Just after the Chernobyl disaster, 30 years ago, the wind took a considerable amount of the radioactive cloud to Belarus. Wind patterns indicated that the whole country was about to be covered and contaminated by it, unless drastic action was taken against the imminent danger. Desperate times call for desperate measures; so, in order to prevent a wider national tragedy, the Belarusian government had no choice but to drop chemicals into the cloud to condense it. The resulting black rain in the south of the country was an apocalyptic spectacle which was hard to believe, even by those who witnessed it.

Few images in this world are so naturally gracious and pure as those fluffy white formations hovering in the sky. As kids, we imagine that God might be floating in one of them. But something so pristine, so impossible to reach, something sent from Heaven by mother Nature – how could it actually be a carrier of destruction?

In this piece, Simone Mattar presents her take on that mythical cloud, morphing it into something so innocent and playful as candy floss. A reworking of a familiar element of our childhood: harmless though dark, accessible and yet mysterious in this shape, the Black Cloud is an almost macabre tingle of sweetness. Would you dare to take a morsel before it rains on your head?