'"TAR is a tremendous flight of fantasy for those who need to plan a way to escape from this planet or to save it."


2014 June PLACES

The Moon is dead

 or " They used to call it the moon "



Katy Cole / Galaxies

Courtesy the artist

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, 'They Used to Call it the Moon' exhibition at BALTIC’s project space at BALTIC 39, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Caroline Corbasson / Anomalia / Carbon on sky atlas, booklet, 2013.

Courtesy the artist


Meanwhile, the China National Space Administration

has a program to build a lunar base by 2020 .

That's right, in the West we are digesting data of 1972.

"They used to call it the moon" they say at the BALTIC 39, in Newcastle,

and they're right: they *used* to call it like that,


but what we are talking about when we are talking

about the Moon today is probably the Earth,

and more precisely the Earth of our recent past.

Kate Liston - Moon Rabbit, 2012.

Courtesy the artist

.  The artists gathered by BALTIC 39 have hit on a variety of themes: the Moon as venue of imagined realities; the Moon as a science fiction movie set; the Moon as an excuse for conspiracy theories.BALTIC curator Alessandro Vincentelli tells me the works by Marko Tadic are one of the focal points of the exhibition. In a video by Tadic, the moon comes with a duplicate, like in 1Q84 by Murakami Haruki. "It's about how we perceive our world" says Tadic.


Caroline Corbasson at the Paris Observatoire in 'Coupole Arago'

Courtesy the artist

One cannot help thinking that the more the moon is talked about and cloned, the more it disappears. Vincentelli also directs me to  "Blue Rockets" by Aleksandra Mir, a series of paper collages with rocket launches images superimposed on religious iconographic material - both sets distinctly 1960s-flavoured. Caroline Corbasson has found sky atlases at the Observatoire de Paris - still operating since 1667 - and has decorated them with beautiful, moon-shaped carbon circles. Maybe I am mistaking Corbasson's intentions, but I cannot help wondering if, in contemporary thought, depictions of lunar eclipses are mankind's unconscious attempt of making sense of the Black Holes and its embrace of death."The narrative around the space station seems to be very alive at the moment" - says Vincentelli. There's no question, but the Moon is Dead. And its corpse is on the Earth.


Aaron Guy - One silver Gas station, 2014.

Courtesy the artist

The artists involved earlier this year in the "Republic of the Moon" project by the Arts Catalyst in London say that artists should be the first colonisers of the Moon. Therefore they established an embassy for a Republic of the Moon, which of course is on the Earth, at Bargehouse, close to London. The Moon is "private" (it's the title of a work by Leonid Tishkov included in the show), but more to the point, it's on the Earth.  As with all sacred corpses, there are relics involved.

Leonid Tishkov - Private Moon project: Journey of the Private Moon in the Arctic, 2010

Courtesy the artist

The chinese rover Jade Rabbit, landed on the Moon's surface on 14 December 2013 maybe knows something about the Death of the Moon. But it won't reveal anything. Nobody knows if Jade Rabbit is still functioning . The Chandrayaan-2, the second lunar exploration program of the Indian Space Research Organisation is scheduled for launch in 2016.


Liliane Lijn - Moonmeme, 1992 - ongoing

Courtesy the artist

Maybe it will beam home this message:

the Moon is alive, it's the West that's dead.



Marko Tadic / We used to call it: the moon


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