The exhibition leads up to the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing of Apollo 11 in 1969, and the moon landing will be one of the exhibition’s pivotal thematic points as a provisional culmination of the deeply rooted cultural conceptions that were invested in the space race. The moon landing was not only a technological advance, it was a spectacular, thoroughly aestheticized event that was distributed globally in images – and which had been anticipated and interpreted in the visual art and wider visual culture of the 1960s, from David Bowie’s music videos to Disney’s animated films.
For the artists of the period the questions of technology, the ungraspable scale of the universe, romantic longings and spirituality were collapsed into works that interpreted the existential perspectives of the space race. American Robert Rauschenberg attended the Apollo 11 launch at the official invitation of NASA, and wrote in a collage work from his time there: “My head said for the first time moon was going to have company and knew it.”
The exhibition will include visual art, film, literature, architecture, design, natural history and historical objects on the grand scale.
(Photo: Fritz Lang, Frau im Mond, 1929, Photo: Horst von Harbou / Deutsche Kinemathek)