I’ve watched and read Aleksandra Mir’s project First Woman on the Moon (1999). I found it very clever, sarcastic and profound. It was amusing (in a good way) to watch her dramatic video of the process of transforming a Dutch beach into the moon, especially when she parallels the sound of a spacecraft’s take-off to a bull-dozer. But it was humor feeding on a sad reality, the poor inclusion of women in important scientific and technological projects and the general issue of gender inequality. A quick search on the NASA website informs me that indeed, to this date, no woman has ever visited the moon, simply because they didn’t accept women as astronauts during the time of Apollo (1969-72).
‘First Woman on the Moon is conceived to effectively beat JFK to his words and put a woman on the moon “… before the end of the millennium”. At this point in history, it is still clear that if a woman wants to land on the moon, she will have to build it for herself.’
In contrast to the actual moon walk thirty years earlier, this project was low-budget, unabashedly fake, open to the public and, most importantly, manned by women.
I couldn’t help but think, ironically, that in previous classes I’ve taken of contemporary art and art history, I was hardly showed any female artists. I’m happy that this is changing and, as a consequence, I’ve been making an extra effort in digging deep and finding female artists. The digging very often results in discovering hidden gems.
Mir, A. (1999) First Woman on the Moon. At: https://www.aleksandramir.info/projects/first-woman-on-the-moon/ (Accessed on 10 August 2017)
Morrison, D. (2007) First Woman on the Moon. In: NASA [online] At: https://sservi.nasa.gov/?question=first-woman-on-the-moon (Accessed on 10 August 2017)