Weekend Portfolio: Annabel Elgar
All images © Annabel Elgar
One of the myths surrounding the Apollo Moon Landings is their supposed construction. That the giant leap for mankind was a well-polished hoax on the back of NASA and other organisations is a familiar line: one that permeates conspiracy theories across the planet.
So perhaps it is not so strange that within any context of ‘authentic’ evidence, there is a stand-off with a counter-narrative of a spurious nature. Acknowledging this, Annabel Elgar’s project, Cheating the Moon, which was nominated for the Prix Elysée in 2014-15, takes the stolen and missing Goodwill Moon Rocks of the Apollo 11 and 17 missions as its point of departure. Of the 270 moon rocks that were given to the nations of the world by the Nixon administration shortly after the expeditions, approximately 180 are currently unaccounted for. Within those that remain at large, beyond the researchers and hobbyists that have tracked down some of the specimens, a culture of emergent forgery and theft has high-jacked proceedings. In 1998 an undercover federal law enforcement operation, code named Operation Lunar Eclipse, was created to identify and arrest individuals selling bogus moon rocks and dust.
Under the auspices of such an undercover investigation, Elgar’s project presents an archive of moon rock findings that refers to both factual and fictitious sources, where discerning one from the other becomes a complex proposition. In parallel with the corruption that has pervaded the rocks’ distribution, the slippery nature of truth is given a wide berth in the various locations and contexts that make up this series, some of which are outlined here.
To read more on this project and to see more of Annabel's work, click here.