2014-01-11

Moon Republic Artists ask: who owns the moon?


The exhibition presents artists reaching for the moon. But what's the connection between Beethoven, shopping carts, geese  and space travel?

"I think artists should be part of a human outpost on the moon" says Rob La Frenais, curator of the art - science project, exhibition Republic of the moon, which can be seen from 10 January to 2 February at the South Bank in London.

Although the groundbreaking step on the moon was achieved 40 ago, China recently hit the headlines because of their lunar jade rabbit designed to explore the moon. Experts also claim that the moon could become a desired territory. Moon surface, rich in rare metals and ice, for oxygen and drinking water for astronauts or hydrogen which can be used as rocket fuel seems a gold mind. To extract metals from lunar soil and transport them to earth would be too expensive today. But when we exhaust earth's stocks the Moon alternative sounds very appealing. These are the main arguments of those convinced of inevitability of competition for moon resources. 

La Frenais thinks it's a good time to talk about who owns the moon and what is its future.

"Republic of the Moon" transformed the Southbank gallery in the moon embassy on  earth. On entering the exibition visitors recieve artists manifests in which they can read about what the artists would do if they got to the moon, in forms of poems or dissertations. Organizers emphasize on the art, fantasizing about moon and not on interpretation of facts. On top of the exhibition itself, visitors can take part in lectures, workshops and performances. Various artists, some presenting extreme aproach towards art, show us their lunar visions.

"Private Moon" by Leonid Tishkov

The idea of a personal moon of  Russian artist imply taking a minature moon wherever he goes. Therefore the moon accompany the artist in every domestic activity. In spite of this banal scenery the photos are uniques and filled with incredible atmosphere, showing the artist's intimate relationship with this particular celestial body.

"Goose Moonlight" Agnes Meyer - Brandis

In her work German artist refers to the world's first science-fiction novel: "Man on the Moon ", written in the sixteenth century by the English bishop Francis Godwin. The book is a fantasy about a man who flew to the moon on a wild swan. Meyer - Brandis transforms geese in astronauts, giving them names like Uri and Neil and subjecting them to swimming and flying training. On a farm in Italy where the geese live Meyer- Brandis has created imitation of the moon surface, which is connected to the gallery. You cannot communicate with the geese, but you can interact - says the artist. 

"Moon Rover" and "Scent of the Moon" are projects made by Sue Corke and Hagen Betzwieser, they form a group called We Colonised Moon. Their "Moon Rover" was made from shopping trolley. Designed by the duo perfume - the scent of the moon – was apparently approved by Buzz Aldrin.

"Earth-Moon - Earth" and "Second Moon" by Katie Paterson.

The project "Earth-Moon - Earth" by Scottish artist transmits Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata to the moon and then reflected back they're played by an automatic piano in the gallery, with all the warping emerged during space travel. A piece of lunar meteorite that is travelling around the World with a UPS courier is called ''Second Moon''. This small piece of the cosmos is circulating the earth for one year now, but it's hard to track as often there are difficulties with the customs authorities of different countries.

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