Two Minutes to Midnight and the Architecture of Armageddon

In 2018 the Doomsday Clock was set to two minutes to midnight, the closest it has ever been to striking midnight since the height of the Cold War in 1953 when both the United States and the Soviet Union tested thermonuclear weapons for the first time within ten months of each other. Today, while the Cold War’s lessons and fears have largely faded from our collective memory, it is critical to view a decidedly uncertain present through the lens of the past.

Through two photographic essays, photographers Jeanine Michna-Bales and Adam Reynolds offer a calculated look at the “Architecture of Armageddon,” both the offensive and defensive implications of nuclear war. These quiet architectural spaces, devoid of people, allow viewers to come face to face with present nuclear realities while also offering a look into the collective psyche of the American people during the Cold War.

Reynolds’s project, No Lone Zone, documents the offensive side of the Cold War through nuclear missile silos in the United States. It provides a contemplated look at the nuts and bolts of Mutually Assured Destruction, the MAD logic behind nuclear deterrence. Michna-Bales’s project, Fallout, delivers typological documentation of the defensive side through various shelters and propaganda across the United States, both private and public. These fallout shelters, endorsed through Civil Defense programs, in reality offered little more than a government sponsored placebo to the American people, convincing them that something tangible was being done in the event of a nuclear holocaust.

This exhibition is aimed to spark curiosity, and encourage discourse among audiences of all backgrounds as the works seek out places that are often hidden in plain sight.

About the artists

Jeanine Michna-Bales is a fine artist working in the medium of photography. Her work explores the relationship between past events and their continued impact on contemporary society. She meticulously researches each topic—considering different viewpoints, causes and effects, and political climates—and often incorporates found or archival text into her projects. Her images have appeared in solo and group exhibitions around the United States, including ExhibitsUSA’s current traveling exhibition Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad.

Adam Reynolds is a documentary photographer whose work focuses on contemporary political conflict. He pursues visual research projects that balance photographic creativity with a journalist’s thematic fidelity. Reynolds has worked as a freelance photojournalist in the United States and the Middle East, where he lived in Israel/Palestine, Egypt, and Yemen. Reynolds’s photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad.

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Tour Schedule

Two Minutes to Midnight and the Architecture of Armageddon is touring April 2021 through March 2026. The dates below reflect seven-week exhibition periods. Dates are subject to change; please contact MoreArt@maaa.org or (800) 473-3872 x208/209 for current availability.

  • April 6–May 25, 2021 Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum
    Temple, TX
    pending
  • June 16–August 11, 2021
    available
  • September 1, 2021-January 7, 2022 Irving Museum and Archives
    Irving, TX
    pending
  • January 28–March 16, 2022
    available
  • April 6–May 25, 2022
    available
  • June 16–August 11, 2022 Moses Lake Museum and Art Center
    Moses Lake, WA
    pending
  • September 1–October 20, 2022
    available
  • November 10, 2022–January 7, 2023 National Museum of Nuclear Science & History
    Albuqueque, NM
    pending
  • January 28–March 16, 2023
    available
  • April 6–May 25, 2023
    available
  • June 16–August 11, 2023 Upcountry History Museum
    Greenville, SC
    pending
  • September 1–October 20, 2023 Refurbishment
    Kansas City, MO
    booked
  • November 10, 2023–January 7, 2024
    available
  • January 28–March 16, 2024
    available
  • April 6–May 25, 2024
    available
  • June 16–August 11, 2024
    available
  • September 1–October 20, 2024
    available
  • November 10, 2024–January 7, 2025
    available
  • January 28–March 16, 2025
    available
  • April 6–May 25, 2025
    available
  • June 16–August 11, 2025
    available
  • September 1–October 20, 2025
    available
  • November 10, 2025–January 7, 2026
    available
  • January 28–March 16, 2026
    available

Exhibition Details

48 photographic images

  • Content

    Fee Includes:
    Press Kit
    Registrar’s Packet
    Programming Guide
    Text Panels
    Narrative Labels
    Full Insurance
    Installation Instructions
    Custom-Designed and Built Crates

  • Curated By

    ExhibitsUSA, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO

  • Organized By

    ExhibitsUSA, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO

  • Out-of-Region Rental Fee

    $6,300

  • In-Region Rental Fee

    $3780

  • Duration

    7 weeks

  • Shipping

    Van Line

  • Running Feet

    275 minimum

  • Square Feet

    -

  • Security

    Moderate B

  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    4 crates estimated/TBD

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by ExhibitsUSA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.