A Trip to the Moon

It’s worth noting, first of all, that in a way the subject of this program was selected somewhat arbitrarily. We chose to program around the moon––out of all the monuments one could REVISE—for its stability, as a reference point against which to display cinema’s astounding ability to see in ever-new ways; for its shifting perspective, proximity, and intervention, which present an unimaginable diversity of views, on something that had been otherwise seen (literally) in just a few ways, for all time.

For example, in Georges Méliès’ classic of early cinema, A Trip to the Moon (1902), the capacity to journey beyond our atmosphere is portrayed as magic, the wheelhouse  of wizards and sorcerers. We now live in a post-“Whitey on the Moon” (Gil Scott-Heron, 1970) age, with lunar travel viewed by many as the hubristic symbol of Western civilization’s excess—looking out to the stars when our planet needs so much attention. Between these two poles of our conceptions of the moon, this program offers multifarious senses of our most constant satellite: as an impossible fancy, as the object of man’s greatest achievement, as a poetic alternative to rational/solar time, as a universal symbol of dreaming. It’s a real trip by the end.