“Rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth… home.” – Edgar Mitchell (NASA Astronaut / Apollo 14)
Newchild is pleased to present ‘Wild Blue Yonder’, a group show featuring works by Madeleine Bialke, Ella McVeigh, Antonia Rodrian, Kristian Touborg and Taylor Anton White which will be paired with a selection of historic photographs from NASA’s golden age (1940s-1970s) and meteorites. The exhibition brings together a group of artists who, each in their own way, create a body of work that attempts to overcome the challenges of being an artist in an a-temporal cultural climate whilst being faced with asynchronous communication forms. In their efforts to do so, the artists in Wild Blue Yonder are creating images for the future’s present, their art works consider what to tell the future about how the world is now.
Wild Blue Yonder explores notions of the past, the present and the future through a window of otherworldly and dreamlike realities. In a time when complex and fluid algorithms have replaced the clear linearity of books it is increasingly difficult to understand the master narrative of our time. Thanks to modern technology, information is ubiquitous yet completely dematerialised and fragmented.William Gibson first identified this phenomenon in 2003 and coined it with the term atemporality: a strange state of the world in which all eras seem to exist at once. Gibson used it to describe a contemporary cultural product that paradoxically does not represent, either through style, medium, or content, the time from whence it comes. Atemporality is by no means a novel or original idea (it has been argued that the concept was already broached by Walter Benjamins in his 1935 essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ as photographic reproductions had made art works from all times available to audiences) yet this exhibition attempts to tackle something that is undeniably unique about our present time.
The exhibited artists challenge the atemporal cultural landscape by creating art works that depict a compelling anthropological journey transcending the here and now.The exhibition investigates the idea of a longing for the unexplored, a yearning for future pasts whilst also considering what the relics of times to come might look like. It explores, through the eyes of the artist, a collection of unfamiliar and enigmatic places. For some of the exhibited works, the exploration is quite literally an inquiry into outer space,the‘Wild BlueYonder’itself,for others it is a more symbolic and personal journey to a place which may not exist in reality.The artists in the exhibition present an oeuvre that is both transportive and reflective, they offer the viewer a portal into a world which resists being hypnotised by the overflow of digital imagery.
The art works in the exhibition are paired with 2 sculptural iron meteorites of 4,5 billion years old, a 19th-century lunar photograph by the Henry brothers and a collection of NASA photographs.The NASA photographs are all impressions of the ear th taken by astronauts on the Apollo 17 mission. Just as the exhibition investigates the dichotomy between the unexplored (whether it is the unknown in the universe, or within each one of us) and the familiar, an astronaut might experience the same conflicting feeling. As Alan Bean says: ‘Most of us want to see what the moon looks like up close, we want to explore the unknown, yet, for most of us, the most memorable sight was not that of the moon, but of our beautiful blue and white home.’