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Spencer Finch: Moon Dust

From February 21, 2018 — February 16, 2025

Spencer Finch’s impressive light installation Moon Dust (Apollo 17), first presented at the 2009 Venice Biennale, will illuminate the BMA’s majestic Fox Court for the next seven years. The work consists of 150 individual chandeliers with 417 incandescent light bulbs. The chandeliers are hung individually from the ceiling and form one large, cloud-like structure. Although an abstract sculpture, the installation is also a scientifically precise representation of the chemical composition of moon dust as it was gathered during the Apollo 17 mission. Finch translated the diagrams of the chemical formulas of the contained molecules by using light bulbs in different diameters and basic customary fixtures with different arm lengths to create a three-dimensional scale model of the moon’s atomic makeup. The diameter of a globe corresponds to the size of an atom and thus represents a specific element, the small globes representing helium, the bigger oxygen. The overall effect is one of science translated into visual wonderment.

This installation is curated by Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman.

Spencer Finch. Moon Dust (Apollo 17). 2009.

Spencer Finch. Moon Dust (Apollo 17). 2009. 150 light fixtures and 417 incandescent light bulbs. Dimensions variable. Ed 1/3. Installation view at "Fare Mondi/Making Worlds", Venice Biennial, 2009. © Spencer Finch, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nordenhake Berlin/Stockholm. Photography by Gerhard Kassner, Berlin