Melody Owen: Kunsthalle Krems
Ticket to the Moon
“Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do”
(David Bowie, Space Oddity, 1969)
The moon, sung of by poets, painted by artists, a place of yearning, of magical forces. The face of the moon, a light in the night, a poetic metaphor and a visual projection, as it were, of the human desire to discover and explore the world beyond our planet. The “Sputnik shock” of the 1950s started the space race between the two superpowers USSR and USA. Who would be first to land on the moon? NASA eventually accomplished the feat in 1969. Neil Armstrong was the first human to set foot on the moon and to raise the American flag there.
“That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” (Neil Armstrong)
On July 21, 1969, millions of people all over the world were watching the images in front of their TV sets—a media event that left a lasting impression on an entire generation. 2019 now marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The Kunsthalle Krems takes this as an occasion for a multifaced exhibition on the subject of the moon.
Entitled Ticket to the Moon, the show is dedicated to artistic comments on the moon landing and to the moon as a symbol of human dreams, desires, and speculation. Featured in it are works from the time when the race to the moon started in the 1950s, direct reactions to the moon landing after 1969, and also very recent positions of younger artists. The exhibition starts with Hans Bischoffshausen’s work Rückseite des Mondes (1960/61) and moves on to Robert Indiana’s critical reflection on NASA’s involvement with Nazi scientist Wernher von Braun in Der Mond – Die Braunschaft (1969) and Robert Rauschenberg’s lithographic response to the moon landing, Air Pocket (Stoned Moon) (1970). The central focus of the exhibition, however, is on works of younger artists like Sonja Leimer, Wendelin Pressl, Nives Widauer, Larissa Leverenz, and Andreas Werner. The younger generation’s take on the subject of the moon is highly diverse, stylistically and theoretically. Positions range from subtle reworkings of NASA photographs to ironic comments on the blind faith in technology. In part, the works will be created especially for the exhibition. The broad spectrum of contemporary artistic expressions provides an occasion to think about why now, 50 years after the moon landing, the subject still (or again) seems so topical.
The art positions will be expanded with an area of historical documentation in the show. On view will be photographs from the collection of Peter Coeln of the moon landing and the way to get there, of astronauts and cosmonauts. The Vienna Natural History Museum supports the show with a loan of a lunar meteorite, and a model of the Sputnik satellite will be provided by the Vienna Technical Museum.
In a participation area, visitors may contribute and share their own associations and memories of the moon landing. With their ticket visitors will also receive a playlist with QR-codes to experience a broad range of music on the subject: from Mina’s Tintarella di Luna (1959) to David Bowie’s Space Oddity (1969) and to the Electric Light Orchestra’s Ticket to the Moon (1981). Another list with movie trailers from the past 50 years will drum up an appetite for science-fiction films, trashy to poetic, from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) to Duncan Jones’s Moon (2009). In cooperation with the Kunsthalle Kems, the Kino im Kesselhaus will show a program of movies on the subject of the exhibition.
The Karikaturmuseum Krems across the street from the Kunsthalle will also be showing an exhibition on the subject of the moon landing. The show Wettlauf zum Mond. Die fantastische Welt der Science-Fiction (Race for the Moon! The Fantastic World of Science Fiction) at the Karikaturmuseum Krems (24/02–27/10/2019) and Ticket to the Moon at the Kunsthalle Krems (14/07-03/11/2019) will be mutually complementary. The catalogue for the Kunsthalle Krems exhibition will be published in cooperation with the Karikaturmuseum Krems.
Curator: Andreas Hoffer
Jeremy Bakker, Hans Bischoffshausen, Herbert Brandl, Aleksandra Cieślewicz, Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Agnes Fuchs, Robert Indiana, Dona Jalufka, Lena Lapschina, Sonia Leimer, Larissa Leverenz, Mahony, Ralo Mayer, Jonathan Meese, Aleksandra Mir, Nick Oberthaler, Melody Owen, Wendelin Pressl, Florian Raditsch, Robert Rauschenberg, Thomas Riess, Nicole Six und Paul Petritsch, Sebastian Speckmann, Thomas Thyrion, Leonid Tishkov, Paul Van Hoeydonck, Andreas Werner, Nives Widauer.