Luciano Rigolini gives a minimalist reinterpretation of photo shoots produced by NASA astronauts during the lunar landing missions Apollo 15 and Apollo 16.
Three long sequences of pictures show a desert landscape of dust and rock. It's hard to make out the imperceptible differences between one picture and the next. Only on closer inspection do we notice minimal shifts in the frame. The small-square Cartesian coordinate systems on the pictures suggest an underlying scientific purpose.
And indeed, the pictures are parts of a series of NASA Archive photographs shot by astronauts for scientific purposes during the lunar landing missions Apollo 15 and Apollo 16. But Luciano Rigolini's minimalistic conceptual approach brings out an unlooked-for aesthetic dimension to the pictures. The artist uses a photographic sequence for a metaphorical trip to the moon that bears little resemblance to all the jingoistic hype around the moon landing as a heroic milestone of conquest.
By closely scrutinizing our faithful satellite, Rigolini transforms the NASA photographs from documentary material into artworks that tap into man's eternal musings on the mythological and symbolic sides of the moon.
includes allusions to avant-garde and Land Art
as well as minimal music
, which also makes use of serial patterns and minute variations.
The interest of Luciano Rigolini (born 1950 in Ticino, lives and works in Paris and Lugano) for vernacular photography questions this particular mode of representation of the real. He carefully collects neutral images of objects or urban furniture, removed of any human presence or trace, such as the photographs made for sales or industrial documentation catalogues. Collected, found on internet, presented as such, or thoroughly retouched and greatly enlarged, Luciano Rigolini's photographs reveal an aesthetic approach filled with sculptural, pictorial, and metaphorical qualities, all the while suggesting a reflection about our ability to see and perceive.