14 December 2011

American Liliane Lijn has been working as an artist since she moved to London in the 1960's and boasts quite a line up of previous exhibitons including ones at the Serpentine and V&A amongst many more. She took part in some of the first art 'happenings' in the 60's and even modelled for Issey Miyake. Interestingly, when reading through her public commissons, almost as many of them are in scientfic locations as ordinary art galleries, making her the perfect choice to be part of the  Republic of the Moon exhibition. This makes sense when you realise that she is as much influenced by science as she is by oriental and western philosophies and was actually one of the pioneering artists to bring art and science together.

Lijn's interest in space was fuelled during her residency at the NASA Space Sciences Laboratory in 2005 of which she was the first artist to do so. She became excited by a material called Aerogel which NASA had been using to collect interstellar dust on their Stardust Project. Unlike material which you would ever usually see in a gallery space, Aerogel consists of 99.8% air and is able to provide 39 times more insulation than the best fiberglass insulation. It is also 1000 times less dense than glass (can you tell we have been reading up on the NASA website?!?). Lijn modeled the material into a large scale installation which represented her vision of stardust (which has been delivered from light years away by NASA's rovers) as a type of ancient cosmic ruin. Check out the Riflemaker's website for more information and some great images.

For Republic of the Moon, Lijn will be installing moonmeme in FACT's Media Lounge.A large scale interactive projection, It is her proposition for a yet unrealised work of the word 'SHE' projected across the moon's surface. As the moon's surface is revealed as it orbits the Earth, the word SHE transforms into HE and vice versa. You can have a look at this movement on her website. By proposing such a large scale projection on the moon, Lijn is also highlighting her concern that one day the moon could be used for advertising or even propaganda.

Republic of the Moon opens on Friday at FACT. Entry to the galleries is free and they are open from 11am - 6pm Saturday and 12 - 6pm Sunday - Friday.