The Seduction of Galileo Galilei
20 October 2011 - 19 February 2012
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Aleksandra Mir's collage, on view now at the Whitney Museum in New York, may at first look like a silly, arbitrary mash-up of the new and the old, the sacred and the profane. It might seem more postcard-cute than profound. But then when you think about it, a satellite and Jesus really do fit together in interesting ways. The cosmos has always had some place in our religious thought – we think of God as superlunary. Space exploration, meanwhile, often comes with sacred trimmings. I think that for many observers (and funders) of the American moon mission, the “great leap for mankind” felt like a jump closer to the divine. (And how could the artist resist such a theme, given that she shares her name with the great Soviet space station)?