They Used To Call It The Moon


Words by Billie Jenkins Images courtesy of Baltic 39

It had been the perfect Sunday,  huge lamb roasts eaten in the sunshine and washed down with wine. A stroll to the river market punctuated with delicious street food smells under the shadow of the Tyne Bridge, and the walk up the gorgeous Grey St which was voted ‘Best St in the UK’ (by Radio 4 listeners so you know it’s in good taste). Then finally, despite all the unlikeliness a Bank Holiday Sunday would mean open doors for the small sister gallery of Newcastle’s powerhouse BALTIC, we pottered up to the small off street and gave it a try.

I’ve always liked space. Between you and me, and since your reading this this article means your either nerdy or my mum, I have a whole Ipad category dedicated to the stars and the black abyss that swallows them. They Used To Call It The Moon is a brilliant exhibition, diverse mediums are brought together into the same space, with playfulness and dystopian concepts softly growing with each artist, rather than being thrust on you. Music creeps through from the final room, filling the space with a tune that sounds strangely similar to the recurring doomful music of the 1981 TV adaption of Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (OK, now things are getting to nerdy), but also brings to mind Krubrick’s Space Oddessy 2001.

For me there were may hightlights. The most curious and thought provoking the Marko Tadic’s We Used to Call it Moon, which lends its title to the exhibition itself. 102 found postcards and photographs are altered to create a world in which two moons exist, falsely documenting their cultural presence. Mishka Henner’s book based work Astronomical is incredible. Through twelve, 500 page books, each representing a section of the solar system. The immaculate black pages are only occasionally blessed with a single planet or a sprinkling of asteroid belt. Finally you have to love the fake spaceship inside, constructed from coffee cups and polystyrene to exciting effect. It got me thinking I could recreate such a thing in my living room and spend a day playing astronaut. Perhaps next Sunday.


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