Fly Me To The Moon

Fly Me To The Moon


Moon rock, brought to earth by Apollo 11 in 1969.
Collection: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

October 6, 2006

Fly Me To The Moon
A project by Bik Van der Pol
October 6-November 17, 2006

Opening: Friday October 6, 2006,
6-8 pm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Jan Luijkenstraat 1
Check for information and bookings on guided tours and events the website:

Suppose the New Rijksmuseum were in the market for a site on the moon, some time in the near or distant future. Would it be sensible, or nonsensical, for the Rijksmuseum to purchase a lunar plot where it can safely house its collection?

Since the discovery of the moon, people have laid claim to it, whether symbolic or genuine. The moon has resources that could potentially be extracted using technologies yet to be developed. What is more, it may become possible for people to live on the moon someday. Pending future developments, there is a lively Internet trade in deeds to pieces of the moon, available at bargain prices. The legality of this form of private enterprise is obviously debatable, and yet….

Bik Van der Pol took as core item of the project one of the oldest objects in the collection of the Rijksmuseum: a moon rock.

The crew of the first manned lunar landing mission, Apollo 11, brought this rock back to earth with them in 1969. That same year the three astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins visited the Netherlands. Willem Drees, a former Dutch prime minister, received the rock on that occasion as a present from the United States ambassador. And later, this piece of stone was donated to the Rijksmuseum.

The moon rock creates links between the site of the museum, the city, the collection and its own origins. These links are examined from various perspectives. In the background are questions concerning the public and private significance of a collection, as well as questions of public interest.

Fly Me To The Moon consists of guided tours to the exhibition in one of the empty and now fully stripped towers of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The project also manifests itself in the public realm of Amsterdam with posters. Part of the project is the publication Fly Me To The Moon, published by Sternberg Press, containing texts by Jennifer Allen, Bik Van der Pol, Wouter Davidts, Frans Von der Dunk and Jane Rendell, and images reflecting on the presence and potential significance of the moon rock in the collection of the Rijksmuseum.

Fly Me To The Moon
Publication by Sternberg Press
ISBN 1-933128-20-8
Texts: Jennifer Allen, Bik Van der Pol, Wouter Davidts, Frans Von der Dunk and Jane Rendell
Design: Ben Laloua / Didier Pascal


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October 6, 2006

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