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“Bored Astronauts on the Moon” [2011]

John WOOD and Paul HARRISON

“Bored Astronauts on the Moon”

Outline

The works of John WOOD and Paul HARRISON usually feature materials we often encounter in everyday life, such as rope, A4 paper, fans, lamps, chairs, cardboard boxes, and a variety of other tools and commodities. However, here all these things are used in ways that slightly differ from how they are supposed to be used, suggesting new perspectives that reveal the respective article’s hidden alternative usage, and at the same time making us aware of the modal changes of things triggered by that.
“One More Kilometre,” for example, in which sheets are whittled away one by one from a stack of A4 paper using an electric sander, is a work that illustrates the transformation process of a stack of paper into what would make a row of sheets measuring one kilometer end to end. In “Fan/Paper/Fan,” wind from two fans on the left and right makes a sheet of paper stand upright in the middle between the fans. In “Bored Astronauts on the Moon,” the artists dressed as astronauts wander about aimlessly on the surface on the moon, while in “Unrealistic Mountaineers” they appear as bewildered climbers on a cloudtopped mountain peak. These playful yet at once critical reconstructions of stories about humans conquering the world—landing on the moon, climbing Mount Everest, etc.—come across as sceneries that are somewhat baffling to look at.

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