"The moon is essentially gray, no color; looks like plaster of Paris or sort of a grayish beach sand." - James Lovell, Apollo 8 (first transmission from the first lunar orbit, 24 December 1968). Christina Labey's new zine Lunar Mission: human space flight studies is prefaced with first-hand encounters, with Lovell's cool gray words and NASA's stunningly perfect circle gracing the cover, but these exacting accounts give way to her own sensorial and temporal longing for space. Between detailed images of the moon's surface, Labey posits her own imaginative photographs. The condensation trail of a plane becomes a flight test for atmosphere re-entry, a campfire becomes a launch site and the smoking log that fuels it becomes capsule material. Pages later, I can make out the campfire again but barely; its night now and the darkness surrounding the flame of the launch site is an ever more palpable meditation on space. And outer space's most enviable physical property, zero gravity, is met in the water as a nude figure floats, slightly submerged, above an incalculable depth. Beneath Lunar Mission's flights of fantasy are its keenly executed details. It is comprised of weightless sheets of newsprint that are just as Lovell described the moon, the color of plaster. Labey's black and white images glow, and they are square too, perhaps a nod to Neil Armstrong's first lunar photographs that were made with a Hasselblad.
*Lunar Mission was made as part of a series of three zines including Mars Mission: Surface Studies and Human Flight: Sky Studies.
Greenstone, Geological Research Site.
Lunar Surface, Detail 33/42
Launch Site, Capsule Material Test 1
Atmosphere Re-Entry, Test Flight 4.
Neutral Buoyancy, Simulation 3.
Lunar Surface, Crater Detail 3.
Single Impression on Newsprint, 20 pages, 10" x 8", Edition 10, 2011
available for purchase at www.christinalabey.com