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 went on a world tour and also visited the Netherlands. Willem Drees, a former Dutch prime minister, received the rock on that occasion as a present from the United States ambassador at that time. And later, this piece of stone was donated to the Rijksmuseum.
The presence of this extraordinary object in
this public collection generates issues that emphasize
on location, the site and history of the museum, the origin and authenticity of objects in the collection, as well as issues of ownership and colonialism. These issues are examined from various perspectives. In the background are questions concerning the public and private significance of a collection, national identity, the role and economic factor of a museum for a city and country, as well as questions around public interest, ownership and the future of collections such as this particular one.
‘Making public’ is an important parameter in
this project. Different levels of mediation are
therfor 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 through posters in public
lightboxes and flyers designed by Ben Laloua/Didier Pascal. Part of the project is the publication Fly
Me To The Moon, which contains texts by Jennifer
Allen, Bik Van der Pol, Wouter Davidts, Frans
Von der Dunk and Jane Rendell. This publication 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 this moonrock in the collection of the Rijksmuseum is actually not from the moon. See: moonrock search and maansteen (ne) and The Addition.