[artinfo] Fly Me To The Moon at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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Wed Oct 18 20:11:52 CEST 2006

Fly Me To The Moon
A project by Bik Van der Pol

October 6-November 17, 2006

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Jan Luijkenstraat 1
Check for information and bookings on guided tours and events the website:
http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/moon> http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/moon

Suppose the New Rijksmuseum were in the market 
for a site on the moon, some time in the near or 
distant future. Would it be sensible, or 
nonsensical, for the Rijksmuseum to purchase a 
lunar plot where it can safely house its 

Since the ‘discovery’ of the moon, people have 
laid claim to it, whether symbolic or genuine. 
The moon has resources that could potentially be 
extracted using technologies yet to be developed. 
What is more, it may become possible for people 
to live on the moon someday. Pending future 
developments, there is a lively Internet trade in 
deeds to pieces of the moon, available at bargain 
prices. The legality of this form of private 
enterprise is obviously debatable, and yet....

Bik Van der Pol took as core item of the project 
one of 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 visited the Netherlands. Willem 
Drees, a former Dutch prime minister, received 
the rock on that occasion as a present from the 
United States ambassador. And later, this piece 
of stone was donated to the Rijksmuseum.

The moon rock creates links between the site of 
the museum, the city, the collection and its own 
origins. These links are examined from various 
perspectives. In the background are questions 
concerning the public and private significance of 
a collection, as well as questions of public 

Fly Me To The Moon consists of guided tours to 
the exhibition in one of the empty and now fully 
stripped towers of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. 
The project also manifests itself in the public 
realm of Amsterdam with posters. Part of the 
project is the publication Fly Me To The Moon, 
published by Sternberg Press, containing texts by 
Jennifer Allen, Bik Van der Pol, Wouter Davidts, 
Frans Von der Dunk and Jane Rendell, and images 
reflecting on the presence and potential 
significance of the moon rock in the collection 
of the Rijksmuseum.

Fly Me To The Moon
Publication by Sternberg Press
ISBN 1-933128-20-8
Texts: Jennifer Allen, Bik Van der Pol, Wouter 
Davidts, Frans Von der Dunk and Jane Rendell
Design: Ben Laloua / Didier Pascal

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