Hand-made porcelain tile, ceramic decal print, approx. 1,9 cm × 1.3 cm
Produced at the MAC Birmingham pottery studio
Video Projection of digital design, loop
– Deniz Soezen and Little Earthquake: The Moon Museum, MAC Birmingham, 2019
Commissioned by ‘Little Earthquake’, 2019
In 1969, a tiny ceramic tile depicting artworks of famous American artists was allegedly smuggled to the Moon on-board Apollo 12. Six white male artists including Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg contributed their artworks to the world’s first piece of space art: the Moon Museum.
Inspired by conversations with participants and responding to ideas developed in collaborative workshops with six diverse community groups across Birmingham, artist Deniz Sözen re-imagines a new and more inclusive version of a miniature ‘museum’ on the Moon. Like the original Moon Museum, the resulting artwork is also presented on a tiny ceramic tile — the size of a mobile phone SIM card — which the artist has produced in MAC’s pottery studio. The six designs developed by the artist reflect each group’s ideas, emphasising the idea of unity, hospitality and togetherness as opposed to nationalistic tendencies, colonialism and cultural segregation.
An ancient space turtle is flying through space and time, waving at friendly green aliens who enact a welcoming dance around a human embryo on the Moon – dreaming of a new trans-galactic sign language which is made up of human foot- and fingerprints in planet-blue; a rainbow-coloured cardiogram translates the sound of our heartbeat into cosmic sound waves, while a ‘magic Moon carpet’ transforms into a space rocket; and with tremendous courage, a Chinese moon rabbit makes a giant leap from the Earth to the Moon to accompany the goddess Chang’e who is longing for love and home.
Dare we dream that what we humanoids cannot seem to achieve on our planet Earth may perhaps be possible on the Moon?