The core item of this project is the oldest
objects in the collection of the Rijksmuseum: a moon rock.
The crew of the first manned lunar landing
mission, Apollo 11, brought this rock back to
earth with them in 1969. That same year the
three astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin
and Michael Collins visited the Netherlands.
Willem Drees, a former Dutch prime minister,
received the rock on that occasion as a present
from the United States ambassador. And later,
this piece of stone was donated to the
The presence of this extraordinary object in
this collection generates issues that emphasize
on location, such as the site of the museum,
the city, the collection and the origin of
collection and museum. These issues are
examined from various perspectives. In the
background are questions concerning the public
and private significance of a collection, as
well as questions of public interest, ownership
and the future of collections such as this one
of the Rijksmuseum.
‘Making public’ is an important parameter in
this project. Different levels of mediation are
there for part of the project. Fly Me To The Moon consists of an exhibition of the stone in one of the highest towers of the Rijksmuseum. Guided tours, with a guide who tells a story following a so-called ‘dynamic script’ leads the public during five weekly tours, to the topfloor of the empty and now fully stripped tower of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
The project also manifests itself in the public
realm of Amsterdam with affiches in public
lightboxes and through flyers (with designer Ben Laloua/Didier Pascal).
And part of the project is the publication Fly
Me To The Moon, containing texts by Jennifer
Allen, Bik Van der Pol, Wouter Davidts, Frans
Von der Dunk and Jane Rendell, and images
reflecting on the presence and potential
significance of the moon rock in the collection
of the Rijksmuseum. The publication Fly Me To The Moon is also designed by Ben Laloua/Didier Pascal and published by Sternberg Press
Recently, geologists in Amsterdam - who wanted
to study the piece after they visited Fly Me To
The Moon- dicovered that the moonrock is
actually not from the moon. See: moonrock search and maansteen (ne)