In the late 1620s, the English bishop Francis Goodwin wrote The Man in the Moone, the story of the Spaniard Domingo Gonsales, who built a flying machine pulled by geese and travelled with them to the moon. This curious story, considered by some to be one of the earliest works of science fiction, inspired the artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis to undertake a laborious and poetic project involving research and a fantasy narrative, entitled Moon Goose Analogue: Lunar Migration Bird Facility, which won her Second Prize in VIDA 15.0. The artist has dedicated herself to raising and training geese to become “moon geese”, through a series of exercises and experiments which she documents in the form of photographs and videos. Obviously, this process does not aim to achieve its stated objective, but rather is presented with the rigour of scientific research to stimulate a reflection on humanity’s attempts to understand their environment and explore new frontiers. As Meyer-Brandis said in an interview with Kadhim Shubber: “The work I do is a poetic approach to the unknown. [...] I explore the constructions of reality. I am very much interested in the role of the imagination.”
The “moon geese” can be seen from 10th January in the group exhibition Republic of the Moon in London. In this exhibition, which is dedicated to the ways in which artists imagine the future of the Moon, the work of Meyer-Brandis will be sharing space with the work of Leonid Tishkov, Katie Paterson, Liliane Lijn, WE COLONISED THE MOON, Hagen Betzwieser, Sue Corke, Tomas Saraceno and Joanna Griffin. This exhibition project by The Arts Catalyst is the result of extensive work done in collaboration with the European Space Agency.