Moon Goose Analogue: Lunar Migration Bird Facility, Agnes Meyer-Brandis
01/03/2012 – 31/05/2013
Forthcoming exhibitions and screenings
First exhibited in Republic of the Moon, group exhibition co-curated by The Arts Catalyst and FACT Liverpool, 15 December 2011-26 Febraury 2012
Great North Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne, part of AV Festival 1-31 March 2012
Exhibition Cyberarts, as a prize-winner in the Prix Ars Electonica, Linz, Austria 2012 (documentation of the installation, special screening and symposium)
Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration., Culver Center of the Arts, Riverside, Los Angeles, USA 19 January to 23 March 2013
Rauchwolken und Luftschlösser, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Teerhof 21, 28199 Bremen, Germany 26 January to 10 February 2013
Space Odyssey 2.0 Z33, Zuivelmarkt 33, B-3500 Hasselt, Belgium 17 February to 19 May 2013
Agnes Meyer-Brandis’s poetic-scientific investigations weave fact, imagination, storytelling and myth, past, present and future. In Moon Goose Analogue: Lunar Migration Bird Facility, a major commission, the artist develops an ongoing narrative based on the book The Man in the Moone, written by the English bishop Francis Godwin in 1603, in which the protagonist flies to the Moon in a chariot towed by ‘moon geese’. Meyer-Brandis has actualised this concept by raising eleven moon geese from birth within her project Moon Goose Colony at Pollinaria in Italy; giving them astronauts’ names*, imprinting them on herself as goose-mother, training them to fly and taking them on expeditions and housing them in a remote Moon analogue habitat. (* Neil, Svetlana, Gonzales, Valentina, Friede, Juri, Buzz, Kaguya-Anousheh, Irena, Rakesh, Konstantin-Hermann)
The remote analogue habitat simulates the conditions of the Moon and will be accessed and operated from Meyer-Brandis’s control room installation within the gallery, where instructional videos, photographs and vitrines of the geese’s egg shells and footprints will be displayed.
Meyer-Brandis develops the contested history of Godwin’s original fiction – posthumously and pseudonymously published as if the genuine account of the travels of Domingo Gonsales. She weaves a narrative that explores the observer’s understanding of the fictitious and the factual, with a nod to notions of the believably absurd.
Oxford academic, William Poole , in his Preface to the 2009 edition of The Man in the Moone , explains the importance of Godwin’s work, “First, it is a work of literary sophistication. It is narrated by a slightly implausible figure who does a number of very implausible things, not least fly to the moon and back.…its supposed time-frame further heightens readerly problems about who and what to trust in this text, and why… its finely integrated discussion of various state-of-the-art ideas about astronomy and cosmology – magnetic attraction, diurnal rotation, and the possibility of interplanetary travel and extraterrestrial life. The dramatisation of these discussions in The Man in the Moone is at once a form of popular science and also a form of popular fiction. This is the age-old problem of fiction – the probable impossible intermingled with the possible improbable."
Moon Goose Analogue: Lunar Migration Bird Facility, 2011 links directly to Meyer-Brandis's, Moon Goose Colony, 2011, a project during her residency at Pollinaria, Italy, the site of the remote analogue habitat where the artist has raised and houses the colony of moon geese.
1 William Poole is John Galsworthy Fellow, New College, Oxford, and author of The World Makers: Scientists of the Restoration and the Search for the Origins of the Earth (2010).
2 The Man in the Moone (1638) (Broadview Editions) by Francis Godwin and William Poole (Paperback - 1 Nov 2009), preface
Reviews and blogs about the show
Commissioned with FACT and first shows in Republic of the Moon, Dec 2011-Feb 2012 at FACT, Liverpool
Presented with AV Festival, Newcastle-Gateshead, 2012