On 21 July 1969, at 2.56 UTC, Neil Alden Armstrong was the first person to ever set foot on the moon. 50 years later, the exhibition MAAN/MOON takes you on a photographic odyssey to our closest celestial neighbour and back. The object of dreams and fantasies, but also the catalyst for a global space race, the moon leaves no one unmoved.

FOMU goes in search of the stories engendered by this elusive white disk in our firmament, and reconciles its scientific, political and poetic facets. MAAN/MOON takes us back to the early days of photography with images by John Adams Whipple (1852), Warren de la Rue (1866-1880) and Lœwy & Puiseux’ magnificent lunar atlas (1896-1910). Contemporary artists also shine a light on the moon, with photographs from Apollo’s pivotal year, 1969, and the Cold War period. The result is an evocative stream of images that walk the fine line between fact and fiction, bitter truths and sweet dreams.

Includes historical 19th century photography, archival images from NASA and Life magazine, and various works by Annemie Augustijns, Fabrizio Boni & Giorgio De Finis, Tom Callemin, Cortis & Sonderegger, Cristina de Middel, Joan Fontcuberta, Vincent Fournier, Léon Gimpel, Harry Gruyaert, Sjoerd Knibbeler, Michael Light, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Joel Meyerowitz, Lisa Oppenheim, Katie Paterson, Robert Pufleb & Nadine Schlieper, Penelope Umbrico and others.

The exhibition is accompanied by the publication MOON - Photographing the Moon 1840 - Now published by FOMU and Hannibal.

Curators: Maarten Dings & Joachim Naudts


Image: Léon Gimpel - Hyperstereoscopie de la lune - 1923 © Léon Gimpel \ Archive of Modern Conflict