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St. Joseph Hall 105
Mark Schoon and Casey McGuire
“The Great Moon Hoax: Science and the Recreation of the Artificial”
Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery, CBU
September 20 - October 30, 2109
Opening Reception: Friday, September 20; 5:30-7:30 p.m.
LEFT: Casey McGuire & Mark Schoon, Comet 67P Churyumov–Gerasimenko, 40 x 40 inches, archival pigment print, 2018
RIGHT: Casey McGuire & Mark Schoon, Silver and Gold, 16 x 16 inches, cyanotype, 2016
MEMPHIS — The Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery at Christian Brothers University (CBU) announces a new exhibition entitled “The Great Moon Hoax: Science and the Recreation of the Artificial” by artists Mark Schoon and Casey McGuire, which opens on Friday, September 20 with a public reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will be on exhibit through October 30.
“The Great Moon Hoax” merges science and art by exploring the complicated relationships between observation, representation, and understanding. This collaborative project springs out of the artists’ individual research that each address different aspects of the real, the artificial, and unattainable.
These images focus on early astronomical photographic attempts at rendering visible, yet unattainable objects on the moon’s surface. The quest to see these unattainable objects became a popular obsession after fantastical images depicting the moon were published with a series of articles in the New York Sun in 1835. These articles, later known as “The Great Moon Hoax” (along with Sir John Herschel’s photographic model “Lunar Copernicus Crater” of 1842 and James Nasmyth’s illustrative book The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite of 1847), helped to expanded scientific curiosity beyond the limits of human vision and the possibilities of the scientific photograph. These images, despite their reliance upon drawings or models for representation, played upon the popular belief that photographs have an undeniable authenticity and are representative of the “the real.”
The images depicted in “The Great Moon Hoax: Science and the Recreation of the Artificial” were realized through the creation of three-dimensional sculptures for the purposes of making the photographic prints. At times referencing lunar models, Apollo-era images, and telescopic astrophotography, this body of work bridges a gap between historic and modern modes of scientific representation while re-contextualizing and bringing them into a contemporary vernacular. The images of the sculptures are presented using the historic cyanotype and salt print processes. In their presentation, the images encourage the viewer to take a closer look at science, the imagery that represents it, and how it impacts popular understanding.
Casey McGuire and Mark Schoon have been working as a collaborative team since 2015. Their collaborative work has been widely exhibited, and work from “The Great Moon Hoax” series has been published in The Photo Review, Fraction Magazine, and Manifest Gallery’s International Photography Annual. McGuire holds an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has been featured in Sculpture magazine, and her installations have been shown at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids, MI) and Alexander Brest Gallery (Jacksonville, FL). Schoon holds an MFA in Photography from Ohio University. His photographs are included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), the Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego, CA), University of North Dakota, and the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Both artists currently serve as associate professors at the University of West Georgia.
The Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery is located on the lower level of Plough Memorial Library in the center of the CBU campus on the Buckman Quadrangle. All exhibits are free and open to the public.