https://iiiimag.com/articles/the-500-br-john-stezaker-bubble-viii

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The 500
John Stezaker — Bubble VIII

Jordan Harrison-Twist

John Stezaker Bubble VIII, 1988-2005 Collage 30.3 x 22.4 cm | 11 7/8 x 8 3/4 in. Credit line: © John Stezaker. Courtesy The Approach, London/ Photo: Damian Griffiths.

A symbol of terrestrial and national pride, the three-by-five foot American flag is nonetheless ignored by the moon’s vacuum, and the force which sends ripples through its stars and stripes is the force implanted by the men who set it in the dust. Somewhere between a junkyard and a graveyard, the lunar surface now hosts over twenty tons of detritus from previous missions: probes, rockets, rovers, boots, and visors — litter and life-support machines from half a century of exploration. There are man-shaped machine parts strewn between footprints that will last forever, in inches of dust: a size nine-and-a-half signatory on a carbonic paper crust.

Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.

W. B. Yeats’s poem 'The Cat and the Moon' (1919) is regarded to be an allegorical depiction of his relationship with his muse Maud Gonne MacBride, who had rejected at least four of his marriage proposals. The black cat Minnaloushe belonged to Maud Gonne, and in this poem could be seen to represent Yeats himself, dancing around in courtship for the changing phases of the moon, his feline eyes locked into its wane and wax. Minnaloushe’s troubled ‘animal blood’ is a metaphor for unrequited love, as its vitality and warmth in contrast to the cold purity of the moon would give its lavender glow a forensic quality, as if to illuminate the futile hopes of Yeats.

Moonlight is troubling. Moonlight, the pure cold light in the sky, is the colour of the torch of the observation tower. It is the potion which denudes the man with something to hide. It dissolves the human to unveil the werewolf.

Moonlight — or rather light which touches the surface of the moon — or rather, rather, light which does not touch the surface of the moon — is fuel to the fire of doubt, doubt of the official narrative, doubt harboured by those who deny that men set foot where the light does not go. The shadows suggest many light sources they say; they stretch too far, they stretch too little. Shine some light on the problem to illuminate the truth. This is a studio. These shadows represent the ghouls of the Cold War, nothing more. Man did not set foot on the Moon.

There it is. As clear as ever. Clearer. Unashamedly naked: pox, furrows, bruises, acne exposed and luminous. Look again. The pinched pole is not where it should be. The orb so often called an eye averts its gaze upward — away from Earth’s lustful gravity, and outward to find a new suitor. Where once was the horseshoe of seas, Tranquility, Fertility, Nectar, is now a pyre — a fire burning in a vacuum — a transmittal of souls, endless, endlessly, into the ether.

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