Art Galleries

Rachel Apthorp "100 seconds to midnight"*

Monday, September 27, 2021 - 12:00pm to Friday, December 17, 2021 - 4:00pm

Manzanita Gallery


To view this exhibition, please fill out the appointment form for the Manzanita Gallery

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, known widely for its internationally recognized Doomsday Clock, was created in 1945 following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They describe their mission succinctly as a publication that “equips the public, policymakers, and scientists with the information needed to reduce man-made threats to our existence.” These major threats include nuclear weapons, climate change, disruptive technologies, cyber warfare, and a decrease of trust in institutions. Every January since 1947 the Bulletin announces how many minutes we are from midnight, or less poetically put— the apocalypse. 

The clock was 17 minutes to midnight when I was born in 1992 — the farthest from midnight it has ever been since the start of doomsday timekeeping. In 2020 the clock was set for 100 seconds to midnight, where it has remained since. Midnight has never been closer. 

In January of 2021, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists released their annual Doomsday Clock statement with this urgent warning: “The pandemic revealed just how unprepared and unwilling countries and the international system are to handle global emergencies properly. In this time of genuine crisis, governments too often abdicated responsibility, ignored scientific advice, did not cooperate or communicate effectively, and consequently failed to protect the health and welfare of their citizens.” 

It is still 100 seconds to midnight. 

With multiple disasters happening concurrently, including climate change and the pandemic, the times we are collectively living through provide a fertile breeding ground for feelings of hopelessness, ennui, and derealization. After a year of isolation time began to lose its rhythm. Days blended into one soupy grey mess. Days spent waiting and wasting away. While the doomsday clock is representative of our time left on the planet, the clocks in the installation keep track of nothing. The numbers are inaccurate, they add up to nothing resembling our standard methods of timekeeping. These clocks do not represent time, but instead our emotional connection to it, how long or short something feels.  

The works created for this installation are mediations on time, negative unwanted feelings, death, and disaster. Though physically lightweight, they are limp and flaccid, slumping with a tangible heaviness that mirrors the exhaustion and hopelessness of a depressed body. The three figures act out various stages of grief, anxiety, and depression; they know it’s 100 seconds to midnight, and it appears they are incapable of handling that fact. 


Rachel Apthorp is an interdisciplinary artist from the San Fernando Valley currently living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She received a BA and MA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Painting and Sculpture from California State University, Northridge. Her work has been exhibited at Ochi Projects, The Brand Library Art Gallery, Monte Vista Projects, and more with press features in The New Yorker, Hyperallergic, Artillery Magazine, and the LA Times

Datebook. Focusing on complex trauma, abusive power structures, and bodily dysfunction, Apthorp’s work examines the collapse of both internal and external worlds. With a primary focus on soft sculpture, her practice establishes a visual language for such ineffable ideas through a variety of approaches to image and object making.


*This exhibition is not affiliated or endorsed by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, stewards of the Doomsday Clock and owners of the phrase "100 seconds to midnight." Learn more at

Due to Covid-19, masks are required and appointments must be made in advance or you will not be admitted.

There is a CSU Vaccine mandate starting September 30th.

Everyone who attends the gallery starting September 30 and later must have proof of vaccination. Visitors must have their physical card or a digital copy with them to show at the door. For Children under the age of 12 (because they are ineligible for the vaccine) they must present proof of a negative covid-19 test from their school within the week of attending the gallery or proof of a negative test within 72 hours of attending the gallery. Children under 5 will not be permitted.

Here are the types of masks that are acceptable:

On the day you are attending, you MUST fill out the Covid screening form at this link:
You will then receive a confirmation email. In order to be admitted, you MUST forward your confirmation email to Erika Ostrander.