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Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

August 11, 2019

Exhibition

“Final Frontier”, an exhibition on view in Toronto, Canada celebrates the 50th anniversary
of the moon landing, and our enduring fascination with what lies beyond our atmosphere.
Comprised of nearly 200 photographs created over a period of 130 years, the exhibition
includes nineteenth-century observations of the Earth’s surface, photographs taken by
astronauts on the surface of the Moon, as well as contemporary photographs that
reinterpret previously made images of outer space, or offer new perspectives on space
exploration.

Apollo 10 Astronauts, Gene Cernan, John Young and Tom Stafford, May 18 1969 © NASA / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

The installation provides a small chronology of ways that photography has been used in the
pursuit of scientific discovery. It includes vintage photographs by James H. Nasmyth; Loewy
and Puiseux; NASA astronauts (such as Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, John Young,
and Charles M. Duke, Jr.); unknown photographers, and photographs transmitted from the
Ranger and Orbiter Missions. Also included are contemporary photographic works by
Benjamin Freedman; Michael Light; Sanaz Mazinani; and Eva Stenram.

Rock Spectroscopy, 2015 © Benjamin Freedman / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Toronto-based photographer Benjamin Freedman’s practice questions photography’s role
in describing the world, and its implications within a range of professional practices,
particularly in the fields of history and science. While probing the relative truths and
deceptions of photography, he purposefully adopts visual vocabularies from genres such as
science fiction and horror to create expanded documentary and narrative
projects.

Apollo 11, 1969 © NASA / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

During a two-month residency in northern Iceland, Freedman became interested in the
country’s unique topographic features. Its low mountains and fascinating geological
features inspired Observations of Foreign Objects in a Remote Town (OFORT), a series that illustrates a fictional story about a lunar phenomenon taking place in a sleepy town.

As a medium that boasts power and authority, photography remains a complex tool that

inherently elicits the truth while simultaneously hinting at the possibility of fiction. Like
images mined from a forgotten archive, images of geological samples of unknown origin and
views of deep space act as constellations within an unfolding fictional narrative.

The Colours of Tethys (300 meters per pixel), 2019 © Sanaz Mazinani / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Freedman’s three-panel video projection Apollo Remix engages themes of history, media,
and the archive. The internet has become highly saturated with recordings and information
about the Apollo 11 space mission, one of the most documented historical events of the past
century. Freedman’s experimental film reconstructs the craft’s voyage and subsequent
moon landing using video footage sourced from the internet. It addresses the dissociative
and fragmentary nature of experiencing historical documentation through an array of
online sources. Using existing archival documents as source material, Apollo Remix
simultaneously restages and reimagines the mission. Further, it reflects the ongoing critical
role of artists as myth makers, in their reconsideration and reconfiguration of history and
the dissemination of media.

Michael Light, from the project FULL MOON, 1999 The Moon Seen From 1000 Miles, Showing Farside Highlands; Photographed by Kenneth Mattingly, Apollo 16, April 16-27, 1972 Direct-digital b/w c-print; 39.5"x39.5"; edition 50 Negative NASA; digital image ©1999 Michael Light

In 2015, Freedman self-published his first photography book and has exhibited extensively
across the Greater Toronto Area, most recently at the Ryerson Image Centre, 8eleven
Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Mississauga. He has also shared his work internationally at
the Aperture Foundation in New York City.

Final Frontier : Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

June 28 – August 31, 2019
Stephen Bulger Gallery
1356 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON  M6J 1Y2
Canada

www.bulgergallery.com

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