Aleksandra Mir

Building Castles in the Sand

MUTE, #14, London, Oct 1999
By Diane Eddisford

First Woman on The Moon
28 Aug 1999
Casco Projcets on location in Wijk aan Zee, Nieuwekade 213-215, Utrecht - The Netherlands

Once upon a time there was a little girl. Like most of her neighbours, this little girl had a television set on which she could watch the most incredible things: frogs mating; volcanoes erupting under water; people speaking languages she did not understand; pictures of the planet she lived on; and pictures of the moon that lit it up at night. One day the girl got a-wondering: do these thing's really exist? Did people really go to outer space? How can I ever know?

In the fine tradition of films like Capricorn One and Ur-pranks like Orson Welles's War of The Worlds or the Victorian 'fairies in the garden' photograph, aptly named Aleksandra Mir recently staged First Woman on the Moon, a sandy simulation of the moon landing on a beach in Holland. Part full on media spectacle, part attempted deconstruction of the same thing; First Woman is gendered semiotics for the sandpit-not news as culture, but culture as news. I can faintly hear J.M. Barry cooing in his grave.