Oxo Bargehouse: Republic of the Moon (until 2nd February 2014)
As far as subjects of exhibitions go, the sciences are something that I tend to avoid, mainly as they have a habit of overwhelming me. However, I have become interested in the connection between art and science, and how one can help express the other. So with this I visited the Bargehouse Gallery, SE1, which is integrated within London's famous OXO Tower, with some apprehension, to see what their 'Republic of the Moon' exhibition would do for me.
The exhibition is divided into different rooms on several floors, each room representing a different artist's contribution to the theme of space exploration and the like. As I don't have the most impressing repertoire of scientific knowledge to offer, I will speak of the exhibition from the viewpoint of the humble amateur to astronomy and space.
Chronologically, the first artist to present is Liliane Lijn, with her 'Moonmeme' project. As an artist, Lijn has been acclaimed by such organisations as Tate and is currently in the shortlist to produce the Fourth Plinth on Trafalgar Square. Lijn has been described as a 'kinetic artist', and this is reflected in 'Moonmeme', where the artist embraces the feminine imagery that is associated with the moon. Her installation is a constant recording of the word 'SHE' overlapping the moving space image. The installation's citation states that Lijn wishes to pay 'homage to the feminine principle of transformation and renewal'. So interestingly, within an exhibition that is based on the great expanse of space, we are somehow brought back to daily, very human values. Evidently they are given a fresh perspective with this view, showing how the moon is often regarded as a feminine symbol, however the artist notes that the world 'he' is within 'she', emphasising the idyll of gender equality. The voices used for the repetitive 'SHE' over the installation are haunting and mesmerising, almost making the viewer forget the real meaning of the project and instead focusing on the voices that sound like wild women.
Image courtesy of www.lilianelijn.com
Image courtesy of www.designboom.com