Robert Oppenheimer Cigarette Case
This Cigarette Case was made for Robert Oppenheimer, the 'Father' of the Atomic Bomb.
Famously against the further development of a Hydrogen bomb, a more powerful version of his creation. I find Oppenheimer to be the epitome of a creator at odds with his creation.
He famously quoted Vishnu in the Bhagavad Gita, stating 'Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds'.
I chose to make the cigarette case as Oppenheimer was a famous chain smoker and later died of throat cancer.
The images on the case reflects on the effect of the device being used theoretically at Los Alamos and the very real effect it had on the city of Hiroshima when it was used on the 6th August 1945.
The history behind this world changing event and the people both behind it and effected by it.
the face of the piece depicts the test site at Los Alamos, where the first ever nuclear test: 'the Trinity Test on the 16th July 1945,
Over the test site is the shadow of the blast.
Upon opening the case, one is presented with two opposing images.
On the left is the silhouette of the B29 Superfortress, The 'Enola Gay', which dropped 'Little Boy' on Hiroshima on the 6th August 1945. The first, and one of only two uses of atomic weapons in anger. Opposite, a map of Hiroshima overlain with the blast radius' of the blast, which killed an estimated 90,000-146,000 people.
On the back of the case is the P.o. Box shared by all 4,000 people working on the 'Manhatten Project'. The box was located in nearby Sante Fe. The postal service was the first to notice that something was going on in, reporting it to the government and being told to keep it quiet.