Darkside of the Moon
2020, gelatin silver print, drip painting, collage on canvas.
Onodera’s practice and philosophy as a photographer have been devoted to exploration of an ontology of photography or of the camera, in which she consistently challenges the status of photographs as imitations of the world, copies, or recording devices. For Darkside of the Moon, exhibited here, her acts of creation included collage, painting and dripping. The know of the far side of the Moon, but facing away from the Earth, it remains always dark to us, invisible to our eyes. According to Onodera, the idea for the title came from hearing that China planned to land a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon and use a robotic lunar rover to explore. Humans have been gazing at and contemplating the Moon since ancient times, and it has played a formative role in many aspects of culture and civilization. We now recognize that the Moon is spherical, but still seem to behave as if the yellowish globe we see in the night sky were a flat disk. The idea of flying to the invisible side of the Moon and having a robot run around on the surface sounds like a story from a novel. And that impression is heightened by the name of the rover: Jade Rabbit. “Of course, the subject of my Darkside of the Moon series is not the side of the Moon that we cannot see, but events on Earth.” (Yuki Onodera) In the Darkside of the Moon triptychs, part of each scene has been cut out and then put back into one of the other scenes as a collage. “Perhaps Darkside of the Moon will have some eye-opening effect, in which thanks to a conflicting ‘severing and dissolving’ among the collaged photos, and its recurrence, we are shown a flip side of sight and cognizance totally invisible to us ordinarily.” (Onodera) These works call to mind “the beginning and the end of the universe,” suggesting the possibility of being able to flip to a different universe through wormholes, a concept based on the multiverse model of the universe.
Text: Takayo IIDA
from the exhibition “2021 A Space Odyssey Monolith_Memory as Virus-Beyond the New Dark Age” at GYRE, Tokyo, 2021