GAME ON (3)

MO
ON REVISITED


INTRO

In April 2021, I first wrote about On Kawara's engagement with the Apollo Moon landing of July 1969. At the time, I lacked the 'I GOT UP AT', 'I WENT' and 'I MET' data for July 16 to 20, 1969. Now I have 'I MET' and 'I WENT' for all of and most of those days, respectively, and I'm waiting to hear back from the gallery in Dusseldorf that houses the collection of 120 postcards that On Kawara sent Konrad Fischer from 1 April 1969 to 31 July 1969. So there we have it. It's called 'closing in on the truth'. It's called 'seeking the big picture'. It's called 'living the dream'.

As I've said in several essays, the only copy of 'I MET' that is in a public institution is held by the Art Gallery of Ontario. The set was donated by Tom Bjarnason, now deceased, whose name I’ve seen in connection with the Toronto showing of On Kawara's show, Pure Consciousness. The Edward P. Taylor Library and Archives at the AGO has kindly listed for me the people who On Kawara met on the six days from July 16, 1969 to July 21, 1969.

Likewise, as I've said before, the only copy of 'I WENT' that is in a public institution is held by the University of Michigan. As part of the package of 50 maps sent to me, I have 'I WENT' for July 16, 19, 20 and 21, 1969. Why didn't I ask for July 17 and July 18, as well? I thought it would prevent me from asking for maps in other years from 1968 to 1979. I know, I know, the summer of '69 was a crucial period. But, dear reader, give me a break. The four most important maps out of six will just have to do.


In my April, 2021, essay I gave a visual impression of how big the size 'H' moon landing Date Paintings were. I used this image to do so:

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A year later, ten months into my own Date Painting practice and with only one aborted Date so far (the ultramarine panel towards the top right of the image below), I can put it this way:


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I should say what today's date is. It's Friday, March 4, 2022. I have calculated that I don't have time to do a Date Painting. Yet still I believe that today and the next four or five days are going to be… A BLAST!



ONE

DAY ONE: JULY 16, 1969

As On Kawara painted a size 'H' Date Painting on this day, he clearly spent most of the time at his studio. In fact, the 'I WENT' for that day is a single red dot. So the artist remained in his studio all day. As the red dot is difficult to make out on the copy of the map of Manhattan that has come to me from the University of Michigan, I have asked the scientists at NASA to highlight it, as they would an astronaut on the surface of the moon. As they have nothing else to do, they were happy to oblige:

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Reproduced and annotated with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holders, One Million Years Foundation.

Because On Kawara was painting such an abnormally large Date, it is possible that he used a different studio from his usual one. So I must check where this is. It seems to be roughly at the junction of Centre Street and Hester Street. (Note: the Google map, below, is differently orientated to the 'I WENT' map of Manhattan. But Lafayette Street can be seen clearly in both. On Kawara's studio would seem to be on the next main street to the east, running parallel. That's to say, Centre Street, roughly where it joins Hester Street.

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I did find a Hester Street with On Kawara associations in 1969, but that is 117 Hester Street and is further east. So this 'studio' was previously unknown to me. I must bear in mind these complications as I attempt to build up a true picture of On Kawara's activities from 16 to 21 July, 1969.

Let's turn to 'I MET'.
The people that On Kawara met on the day that Apollo 11 blasted off, were as follows:

July 16, 1969
Hiroko Hiraoka
Hirotsugu Aoki
Torlee Phillips

As we know, On Kawara was at the studio from midnight as July 15 became July 16, for the full 24 hours. So I expect either Hiroko was with On in the studio at midnight, then went home to 53 Greene Street as On began his painting. Or she spent the night at the Greene Street home and joined him in the morning, by which time the painting might have had several of the background layers painted. It's possible that Hiroko stayed with On all day, just to be in on the action, but there is no reason to believe she did.

Hirotsugu Aoki was On's good friend who was by this time living with the English professor, Teresa O'Connor as outlined in my
earlier essay.

I wonder who Torlee Phillips was. Perhaps she and Hirotsugu, either together or separately, called in to see how On's giant painting was coming along. He had long been planning to make a special effort to commemorate the moon landing.

And by the end of the day, here it was, that special effort:

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

There is a catalogue that was produced in 2018 by Glenstone, a gallery in Potomac, Maryland, fairly close to New York, focussing on the three huge Date Paintings that were made in the second half of July. In the catalogue essay, Lynne Tillman, who spoke to Hiroko while researching her essay, tells us: 'When Kawara learned the moon landing would be broadcast over twenty-four hours, he decided to watch as much of it as he could. Staying awake for twenty-four hours allowed him the opportunity to do a larger-scale work. He would complete the largest canvas he had yet made for the Today series.'

If On Kawara stayed awake and painted for the whole of July 16, then he didn't GET UP at any time and would not have sent out any postcards. That is my working assumption. I feel confident that I will hear from Kunnstammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, the Dusseldorf gallery that holds the Konrad and Dorothee Fischer Archive and Collection, soon enough. And then I will know the facts about the postcards.

UPDATE: 8 March, 2022.
The 120 postcards sent to Konrad Fischer, On Kawara's enterprising European dealer, have been - until January of this year - on display at the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art in Sakura, Japan. Sotaro Okamoto, associate curator there, has just kindly emailed me installation shots, and suddenly (and amazingly) I now have all the information I could ask for about the postcards. On Kawara did indeed send a card to Konrad Fischer every day from July 16 to July 21. Sotaro has asked me not to reproduce the installation shots, as the cards belong to Kunnstammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, so I will adhere to that, and you, dear reader, must rely on my powers of description.

Let's cut to the chase: JULY, 16, 1969: 'I GOT UP AT 10.07A.M.'

That is what I would call a normal getting up time. It may be that On Kawara put the first coat of burnt sienna down at midnight and then went to bed. He may even have put both coats of burnt sienna down before going to bed, confident that by rising at about 10A.M. he would get the painting done. He may even have stayed up long enough to lay down the first coat of near-black…Well, you get the idea. Anyway, he got up just after ten.

The address stamp on the card is 180 Centre Street. From a scrutiny of the 120 cards from the beginning of April to the end of July, the artist began by sending them from 53 Greene Street, where he lived with Hiroko, and 97 Crosby Street, which was an address associated with his friend, Hirotsugo Aoki. Then, at the beginning of May, 180 Centre Street became the address stamped on the majority of the cards, with 53 Greene Street cropping up occasionally. So presumably 180 Centre Street was a studio he rented, possibly with the size 'H' project in mind.

And the picture on the postcard? It is a view of New York streets, but foregrounding a Chinese building. I mean a building with what looks like a triple sail roof, one sail on top of another, like a galleon from the days of the Armada. Can you picture it? I resist the strong temptation to include the image sent to me from Japan. But that would break international bonds of co-operation and trust.


DAY TWO: JULY 17, 1969

I don't have the 'I WENT' for this day, Thursday. Never mind. I expect On left the studio at some point and went to 53 Greene Street to sleep. As we'll see from the 'I WENT' of July 19, going between these two places was a feature of these days.

July 17, 1969
Hiroko Hiraoka
Chuck Frehse
Hirotsugu Aoki
Takashi Hashimoto
Nobumitsu Fukui
Miyuki Fukui

Let's consider this list.

On's close friend, Hirotsugu Aoki appears on four out of the six days between July 16 and July 21. A fellow astronaut-artist, one might say.

Takahashi Hashimoto crops up 4 times over the six days. Will this be the same person who appears on the 'I MET' list in Mexico City every day of the last week in July, 1968? Altogether there were six individuals with a Hashimoto surname that On Kawara 'met' in July, 1968.

Nobu(mitsu) Fukui was and is a practising artist. I have written to him care of the Stephen Haller Gallery, New York. I assume Miyuki Fukui is/was his wife.

Chuck Frehse is unidentified. (Feels like an astronaut's name. I'm thinking of Buzz Aldrin when I say that. Had On Kawara successfully cultivated a relationship with freelancing astronauts? Sorry, I'm being flippant in my mentions of NASA and astronauts. It just reflects my over-excitement about the mission. On's mission.)

July 17, wasn't a painting day, it may have been a recovery day. So On may have casually come across people that were part of his social circle. No doubt they all knew what was going on: On was dating the moon.

After the drama of lift-off on July 16, Apollo 11 would have been making steady progress towards the moon throughout the 17th and 18th and 19th. The blanket TV coverage may have continued. Or it may not. On may have been glued to the telly. Or he may have taken a break. Christ, even the astronauts would have been mostly sleeping on July 17 and 18!

Chuck: "Buzz! Buzz!"

Buzz: "What is it, Chuck? You've woken us up. We're supposed to be preserving our energies for the big day."

Chuck: "Big day?"

Buzz. "Moon landing. Moon broadcast. Moon walk."

Chuck: "Oh, yeah, right. Sorry, Buzzo. It's nothing really. On and I were just wondering how things were going."

I had written the above before receiving the 'I GOT UP AT' information from Japan.

The postcard to Konrad Fischer tells us, perhaps unsurprisingly, that On got up fairly late on July the 17th: 'I GOT UP AT 12.30PM'. The artist needed to recover from his painting effort of July 16 and to get ready for painting efforts to come on July 20 and 21.

The address stamped on the card is again 180 Centre Street, New York.

On the picture side can be seen a group of people standing on a viewing platform above New York. Men in dark coats and suits. A woman in a green coat and another in a red coat. The skyscrapers of Manhattan are all around them. It is an amazing view, when looked at objectively:

Man: "What planet are we on?"

Woman: "I was just wondering that myself."




DAY THREE: JULY 18, 1969

July 18, 1969
Nobumitsu Fukui
Miyuki Fukui
Hiroko Hiraoka
Takashi Hashimoto
Hirotsugu Aoki
Soruku Toyoshima
Ushio Shinohara
Takeshi Kawashima

Friday. Not a painting day. Perhaps the Fukuis stayed with On and Hiroko until after midnight. Otherwise, Hiroko would have been the first person that On Kawara 'met' in the 'morning'.

Takashi Hashimoto may have been staying with the Kawaras, and so he was met in the 'morning' also.

Soruku Toyoshima, Ushio Shinohara and Takeshi Kawashima are all Japanese-American artists, per Ansell Bray's information given while I was writing the 1973 essays. Ansell described Takeshi as the extremely sociable hub of a group of Japanese artists, often hosting games parties, such as chess or mah-jong. Parties that could go on for days.

From now until splashdown, it would be an all-Japanese party. Not forgetting postcards to Konrad Fischer. Ground control in Dusseldorf, as it were. So let's turn to the card for
July 18, 1969. First the message side.

The card is addressed 180 Centre Street. Its main message is: 'I GOT UP AT 1P.M.' It seems that On was still preserving his resources. I have gone back through this 'Day Three' section of my essay and put quotes around the word 'morning'. On enjoyed those hours in bed.

And the picture postcard? A view of Manhattan as if taken from an orbiting spacecraft. You don't believe me? Alas, I can't reproduce it until I get permission.


DAY FOUR: JULY 19, 1969

July 19, 1969
Soroku Toyoshima
Hirotsugu Aoki
Takeshi Kawashima
Hiroko Hiraoka
Nobumitsu Fukui
Miyuki Fukui
Takashi Hashimoto

Saturday. Again, not a painting day. A 'party' with Nobumitsu, Miyuki and Takeshi went on until after midnight. On and Hiroko might have been at that as well. Which makes it difficult to say where the actual morning meetings started. (This is true of the previous day as well.) Indeed it could have been a party that continued from one day to the next, as only one name has dropped out, from July 18, and that's Ushio Shinohara.

I have the 'I WENT' for this day, so without further ado and with a little help from my friends at NASA:

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Reproduced and annotated with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holders, One Million Years Foundation.

The day began with On Kawara at the flat at 53 Greene Street and ended with him in position to begin painting at midnight in his studio. Looking at the movements in more detail:

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The only additional stop was on Lispenard Street, for whatever reason.

I wonder if On was thinking of 53 Greene Street as Apollo 11 and 180 Centre Street as the lunar module.

Meanwhile, in the sky above, 238,855 miles from Manhattan, Apollo 11 was orbiting the moon.

Chuck: "When you say 'orbiting the moon' what do you mean, Buzz?"

Buzz: "For now, Apollo 11 is in an elliptical-lunar orbit of 69 by 190 miles. To maintain this we are travelling at 25,000mph. Each orbit takes a couple of hours."

Chuck: "You are joking. I mean about your speed."

Buzz: "No, Chuck. If you put your foot down in a vacuum, you sure go some."

Chuck: "You go, Tiger."

Now to soberly append the postcard information. First the message side. 53 Greene Street is given as the address. Which confirms the above analysis based on the 'I WENT' map.

'I GOT UP AT 9.07A.M.' On would seem to have caught up on the sleep he missed on July 16 while doing his first size 'H' painting.

Let's turn to the picture side. It would now seem that the camera-spacecraft orbiting Earth is only a few metres above the ground as we seem to be looking up at the bottom of a bridge that sweeps towards Manhattan. I've often thought that not enough credit is given to Collins who was piloting Apollo 11. He could fly like a bird.


DAY FIVE: JULY 20, 1969

Ensconced in the studio all day. The preparations for the moon landing would have been watched on telly. The moon walk was scheduled for the evening, by which time On would have hoped to be well on with his painting. This was not
a painting that he wanted to leave unfinished at midnight.

Over to NASA:

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Reproduced and annotated with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holders, One Million Years Foundation.

Here is the I MET List.

July 20, 1969
Takashi Hashimoto
Hiroko Hiraoka

Takashi was the last name on Saturday's list. Perhaps Takashi and Hiroko walked with On to his studio late on Saturday night and were still there at midnight when On began his Date Painting.

I realise that the dot made on the July 20, 1969 map is clearer than that on the July 16, 1969 map. So I ask NASA to zoom in on the studio and to remove their own highlighting of On's red dot. Let On's red dot speak for itself:

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Reproduced and annotated with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holders, One Million Years Foundation.

Here is what came of On's disciplined and meticulous (inspired and relentless) work that day:

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

I wonder whether Takashi Hashimoto or Hiroko were the first people to see this finished painting. I wonder what they said.

Takashi: "Beautiful view."

Hiroko: "Isn't that something! Magnificent sight out here."

Takashi: "Magnificent desolation."


The postcard for July 20th was sent from 180 Centre Street (of course) and tells us:

'I GOT UP AT 12.47P.M.'

As with the giant painting made on July 16, I think we can assume that On Kawara laid the first few layers down in the early hours of the morning. He might then have gone to sleep for a few hours so that he would be well rested for the part of his day's work that would require concentration: the careful drawing of the letters in pencil and their accurate filling-in with white paint.

By the evening he would have been coasting. I mean he would have been perfecting his characters in between watching Buzz Aldrin and Neal Armstrong walking on the moon. Big strides on the moon being juxtaposed with tiny improvements to the Date Painting. The phrase: "A small step for man; a giant leap for mankind," comes to mind.

Picture side of the Dusseldorf postcard as sent to me from Sakura? The island of Manhattan surrounded by calm water.



DAY SIX: JULY 21, 1969

Straight on to the next size 'H' painting.

On did leave the studio this day.


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Reproduced and annotated with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holders, One Million Years Foundation.

But only to walk a relatively short distance. And the probability is that he retraced his footsteps shortly after. That's how I interpret the red line, anyway.

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Reproduced and annotated with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holders, One Million Years Foundation.

Let's hand over responsibility of tracking On Kawara from NASA to Google:

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Now we want a shot of lower Manhattan at the junction of Mott Street and Bayard Street.

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It's possible that On came here to post his day's card. Or perhaps as a successful splashdown in the Pacific had happened by about 5pm in the afternoon, On wanted to share with fellow New Yorkers the sense of 'mission accomplished' before returning to his studio to complete his own mission.

Let's find out who he met that day.

July 21, 1969 Hiroko Hiraoka
Hirotsugu Aoki

I imagine both Hiroko and Hirotsugo met On at the studio. Or perhaps they met at restaurant at the junction of Bayard Street and Mott Street and went to the studio with him once they'd eaten. Only loved ones would have been permitted access to the inner sanctum aka lunar module.

Hirotsugo: "Beautiful view."

Hiroko: "Isn't that something! Magnificent sight out here."

Hirotsugo: "Magnificent desolation."

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

I've left the I GOT UP AT postcard to last again, because the info came to me TODAY.

The address is 180 Centre Street, which makes perfect sense. The message is: 'I GOT UP AT 10.02A.M.'

The picture side is a view of Manhattan, taken, I assume, as the spacecraft had re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and was plunging towards the blue ocean that you can see sparkling all around the island of skyscrapers.

Congratulations to On Kawara for completing his three enormous Date Paintings while keeping up his 'I GOT UP AT', 'I MET' and I WENT series. For some reason he never drew attention to the totality of what he achieved in this period. Not even to the curators at Glenstone Museum, where the moon landing triptych is permanently installed. I hope the artist will forgive me for pulling things together in 2022, 52 years after the event.



TWO

It's inevitable that On's thoughts would have returned to such an intense period as the July 16 to July 21 moon landing. A clue to what form such a return took is given in a letter from Hiroko Hiraoka to Kasper König dated 14th July 1969, just before the period I have been so closely observing. She began by telling him that On had just been given the all-clear for cancer (which might partly explain the sense of life-affirming vitality he displayed at this time). She went on to say:

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The code I've been working on is called
Voices from Moon. And although this work is dated 2011, I have a hunch it was created in the aftermath of the Apollo 11 mission, given the dating of Hiroko's letter and the information it contains. The code runs to nine pages and here is the first page:

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

I should say here that this was not the first On Kawara code I had tried to break. The following image is the first page of a two-page piece from 1965 called Traveller's Song.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

I suspected that the 26 letters of the alphabet were somehow covered by the 25 combinations of five coloured strokes (red/red, red/blue, red/black, red/orange, red/green; blue/red, blue/blue, blue/black, blue/orange, blue/green etc.).

In the lay-out, there are some tantalising repetitions. And a few examples of two-letter words on this page and the odd one-letter word (surely 'I' or 'a') on the second page of this piece. But I couldn't decode the message. I concluded that it wasn't in English and that my knowledge of other languages wasn't sufficient to give me much chance of succeeding. Upon reading Hiroko's comment that the 1965 codes were intended to baffle computers, I didn't feel so bad about my failure.

If the new codes (per Hiroko's letter) were 'very easy' then they were meant for me. Also, I reckoned that
Voices from Moon would be in American English. So I set to work. I started by working out which one-letter words must be 'A' and 'I'. And I was just about to start working systematically through the two-letter words when I took a wild stab at the first word. 'HOUSTON'. The fact that the second and penultimate letters were the same - two blue lines - which might be 'O', fitted in with where two blue lines cropped up further down the page. Especially at the beginning and end of two-letter words (such as 'TO', 'OF' and 'ON').

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Reproduced and annotated with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holders, One Million Years Foundation.


I tried not to get over-excited. I realised that the delightful process of working out the message was a gift from On Kawara. A process that I recorded with a set of photos in the hope that this would be rewarding in ways that I couldn't predict. I tried to keep to a system of discovering a letter and going through the whole document marking in that letter. But occasionally I would identify a word spontaneously and then I could not help jumping ahead of the systematic decoder in me and printing it on the paper.

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Reproduced and annotated with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holders, One Million Years Foundation.


The word 'tranquility'.

The phrase 'Sea of Tranquility'.

'Fantastic', sure enough!

'The eagle has landed', oh yes it has!

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Reproduced and annotated with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holders, One Million Years Foundation.


'YOU'VE GOT A BUNCH OF GUYS ABOUT TO TURN BLUE. WE'RE BREATHING AGAIN THANKS A LOT. THANK YOU YOU'RE LOOKING GOOD HERE. A VERY SMOOTH TOUCHDOWN.'

A sea of tranquility with everyone breathing in and out as if they had an unlimited supply of oxygen.

'VENTING THE OX'?

Oh yes. They had to vent the ox in order to have access to that limitless sea of tranquility.

Now there are another eight pages of
Voices from Moon, but I know when to stop. Besides, I want to imagine a Moon party hosted by Takeshi Kawashima when he was told that On had made a Moon code. Everyone round to Takeshi's place for a decoding party! Here is a list of the people that turned up in addition to On:

Hiroko Hiraoka
Hirotsugu Aoki
Torlee Phillips
Takashi Hashimoto
Nobumitsu Fukui
Miyuki Fukui
Chuck Frehse
Soruku Toyoshima
Ushio Shinohara
Takeshi Kawashima

But I think I'll leave the decoding exercise there. I can tell you the word 'BUZZ' doesn't turn up. Nor 'MAGNIFICENT'. One page contains the words 'TRANQUILITY', 'TRANQUILITY' and 'ARMSTRONG'. Another contains 'TRANQUILITY', COLLINS and 'DESCRIPTION'. The last contains 'UNINTELLIGIBLE', 'CRATERED', 'THOUSANDS OF LITTLE CRATERS' and 'DIFFICULT'. I guess On realised at that point it was time for him to stop too.

Here is the code if anyone wants to take it further.

A: Black/blue
B: Green/orange
C: Red/red
D: Blue/green
E: Red/green
F: Black/orange
G: Green/red
H: Blue/red
I: Orange/green
J: No examples on page one. Either Blue/black or Orange/blue. See Z.
K: Black/green
L: Blue/orange
M: Orange/orange
N: Red/orange
O: Blue/blue
P: Orange/red
Q: Red/blue
R: Green/green
S: Green/black
T: Orange/black
U: Black/red
V: Green/blue
W: Two Vs (The method by which 25 symbols stand for 26 letters).
Y: Black/black
Z: No examples on page one. Either Blue/black or Orange/blue. See K.

But I can't abandon the idea of a post-Apollo party. This may be because there was such a party on Townhill Road, Hamilton, Scotland, where I lived at the time. I believe my father took this polaroid, certainly my mother is in the picture, looking straight at the camera. Though the main thing in the picture is a sense of comradeship and well-being, fuelled as it is by alcohol.


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Reproduction rights: Duncan and John McLaren.

Hands clasping bodies or holding cigarettes and/or a glass. One-colour, 'A' line dresses. Everyone in this picture had been a child in the 1939-1945 War. Hence the jubilation that humanity had pulled itself together and was able to both land men on the Moon and bring them back alive.

Let me name these party-goers, On Kawara-style. Or at least those we have met via this photograph:

August 30, 1969
Marion Myles
Jean Baron
Bobby Hamilton
Jim Scott
Mabel McLaren
Ray Hamilton
Pam Campbell
Gordon Cook
Mary Jenkins
Margaret McNulty
David McNulty
Joan Scott
Peter Campbell
Denis Myles
Bill Beveridge

In the photo below, three of the party-goers are dressed in astronaut-white. Further, they have been asked to combine to give an impression of the lunar module - the Eagle - perched on the Sea of Tranquility. Bill Beveridge makes a convincing Buzz Aldrin. He and his wife, Louise, are congratulating Robin Jenkins on making a great Neal Armstrong.

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Reproduction rights: Duncan and John McLaren.


This image reminds me that all 120 of the postcards On Kawara sent to Konrad Fischer bear a stamp with the head of John F Kennedy. Which seems slightly odd, as it was Richard Nixon who was President at the time and who got to talk to the astronauts on the Moon. From now on I'm going to have trouble remembering that Nixon was involved. From now on I'm going to hear Kennedy's more sympathetic voice exchanging pleasantries with Armstrong.

When On Kawara was a child, the bombing of his people in 1945 meant that he couldn't comprehend what was happening. The answer he gave to any question asked by his teachers was "I don't understand." By 1969, thanks to his own unique efforts, and thanks to both Japan's and western society's commitment to peace, he knew the answer to every question that the world could throw at him. Those answers were:

"I GOT UP AT…"

"I WENT…"

"I MET…"

"I DATE-PAINTED."

Let's end with the following picture. Not because Buzz has had some moondust pushed down the back of his shirt, though he definitely has done. But because Ian McLaren, flushed with happiness, is gazing straight into Mabel's camera.

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Reproduction rights: Duncan and John McLaren.


I said this was a post-Apollo party. But I may have ben wrong about it being in Hamilton. The party may have taken place at Neubrockstrasse 12 in Dusseldorf, and the following was what was putting such smiles of delight on all those lovely German faces. In one corner of the room, 120 postcards without a single one missing. Two blocks of 6x10=60 held in place by taut wire and transparent plastic.

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Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holders of the installation shot, Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum, Sakura.

How's that for a lunar module?

One small card for man; one giant leap for installation art.

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Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Glenstone Museum.




Notes

1) The story of On Kawara's July 1969 is also told
here. It contains many facts and perspectives I've chosen not to repeat in this essay, as repetition soon bores the once alert reader.

2) I've reproduced the image of the installation so generously provided by
Sotaro Okamoto at the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art in Sakura, Japan. But I will remove it straight away if asked to do so, and I'll find another way to end this essay.

3) If you manage
an art-focused website, please consider providing a link to this webpage.