20 July – 31 August 2009
Two new artwork commissions inspired by the Moon are showcased in an international group exhibition, Deceitful Moon at the Hayward Gallery Project Space this summer. Opening 40 years after the Apollo 11 moon landing and featuring works by 13 artists, the show celebrates this anniversary and explores the Moon as a site for misrepresentation and mistrust, touching on a tradition of hoaxes and conspiracy theories that reaches back to the 18th century.
The exhibition includes an etching by William Hogarth and features a combination of film, photography and installation by Tom Dale, Matthew Day Jackson & David Tompkins, Grant Morrison & Cameron Stewart, Aleksandra Mir, Amalia Pica, Sam Porritt, Karen Russo, Johannes Vogl, Keith Wilson and Carey Young.
One of the new commissions by Amalia Pica is Moon Golem (2009), which features a photograph taken by NASA of Belgian artist Paul Van Hoeydonck’s work Fallen Astronaut, the first and only work of art situated on the Moon. His work was originally ‘smuggled’ to the moon by the crew of Apollo 15, in 1971, to commemorate all those astronauts who lost their lives in the space race. For the second commission, Karen Russo’s video and sculptural work Target: 090913 977 (Silberschlag Crater on Moon), the artist worked with Ingo Swann, a ‘remote viewer’ (psychic) and ex-employee of the CIA who claimed to have psychically detected alien life on the moon.
Others works included are Alexsandra Mir’s First Woman on The Moon (1999), a film of a performance in which the artist transformed a Dutch beach into a lunar landscape, before a female ‘astronaut’ claimed it for mankind; Johannes Vogl’s Kleiner Mond (Small Moon, 2006), featuring a bicycle pointed towards a gallery wall, its lamp creating a ‘moon’ on the wall’s surface; and Gianni Motti’s Tranquility Base (1999), a life-size replica of the steel flag placed on the moon by the Apollo 11 mission.
A unique counterpoint to the contemporary artists featured in the show is William Hogarth’s Some of the Principle Inhabitants of the Moon (1724). In his etching we see a courtly scene of the moon’s king, queen and servants in a lunar landscape. The work demonstrates artists’ longstanding fascination with the Moon.
Deceitful Moon Curated by Tom Morton