They Used to Call it the Moon

Katy Cole / Caroline Corbasson / Aaron Guy / Thomas Ireland / Michael Light / Kate Liston / Aleksandra Mir / Michael Mulvihill / Mehreen Murtaza / Liam Murray / Trevor Paglen / Katie Paterson / Joseph Popper / Sophy Rickett / Aura Satz / Guy Schofield / The Stanley Kubrick Archive / Simon Starling / Marko Tadić / Wolfgang Tillmans

31 October 2014 - 11 January 2015

Against the backdrop of a new Space Race and debates around the future use of inter-planetary energy resources, this group exhibition explores the enduring iconography of the moon in the artistic imagination. With a focus on lunar mythology past and present, real, fictional, utopian and dystopian visions are presented, highlighting the continual politicisation and democratisation of space. Developed and expanded from the popular research presentation at BALTIC 39, the exhibition includes work from the 1990s to the present, alongside a number of projects made especially for BALTIC’s Level 4 gallery. Original lunar maps, photographs from the 1969-72 NASA Apollo missions and important works from the Stanley Kubrick archive are also on show.   

This exhibition brings together artists from Pakistan, France, Germany, Croatia, the US and UK working in film, photography, drawing, sculpture and collage. Artists include:Katy Cole, Caroline Corbasson, Aaron Guy, Thomas Ireland, Michael Light, Kate Liston, Aleksandra Mir, Michael Mulvihill, Mehreen Murtaza, Liam Murray, Trevor Paglen, Katie Paterson, Joseph Popper, Sophy Rickett, Aura Satz, Guy Schofield, Simon Starling, Marko Tadić and Wolfgang Tillmans. 

Enjoy a series of Moon/space-related Spotify playlists.
They Used to Call it the Moon: Playlist #1
They Used to Call it the Moon: Playlist #2 


BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival
Sunday 2 November 2014. / 17.30-18.30
Sage Gateshead,
 St Mary's Square, Gateshead, NE8 2JR
How do science fiction and space travel change our relationship with this world? Do the limits of our knowledge about the future make us scared or optimistic? Matthew Sweet asks whether utopian and dystopian visions of our planet inspire us with fear or wonder. Speakers: Alessandro Vincentelli, BALTIC Curator of Exhibitions & Research / Roger Luckhurst, Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck College, University of London / Naomi Alderman, novelist.

Everything Under the MOON  iplayer via the BBC.


Friday 31 October 2014 / 17.30
Newcastle University, Fine Art Lecture Theatre, King Edward VII building

Artist, author and experimental geographer, Trevor Paglen will be joined by Stephen Graham, Professor of Cities and Society at the Global Urban Research Unit, Newcastle University to discuss their shared interest in surveillance, militarisation and urban life. Part of Newcastle University’s Public Lecture Programme.

Wednesday 3 December 2014 / 19.30-21.30 
BALTIC Kitchen, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead

£20 & £18 concessions* including soup + roll supper

Join us for an evening of celestial navigation from the comfort of BALTIC Kitchen fuelled by a warming soup and roll supper. Gary Fildes, Founder and Director of Kielder Observatory gives tips on looking at the night sky plus a tour of the exhibition They Used to Call it the Moon with Alessandro Vincentelli, BALTIC Curator of Exhibitions & Research.

Friday 5 December 2014 / 20.00
Film Screening + Special Q&A
Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne
A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic 2001: A Space Odyssey pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity, and now it's back at Tyneside Cinema for the British Film Institute's Science Fiction blockbuster season. A four-million-year-old black monolith is discovered on the moon, and the government sends a team of scientists on a fact-finding mission while hiding the truth from the public. Later, another team is sent to Jupiter in a ship controlled by the perfect HAL 9000 computer to further investigate the giant object--but something goes terribly wrong...

On Friday 5 December at 20.00 in partnership with Northern Film & Media and BALTIC, we will be celebrating the return of this landmark film to cinema screens across the UK with a special Q&A screening featuring a specially convened panel including leading 2001 expert Piers Bizony, artist Joy Cuff, who worked with Kubrick on models and sketches of the Moon for 2001, and Richard Daniels, Stanley Kubrick Archivist at University of the Arts London.

This screening is supported by the BFI and the University of the Arts London Archives and Special Collections Centre.

Radio 4 - The Film Programme on the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Saturday 6 December 2014 / 13.00
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead

BALTIC and Northern Film & Media present a show-and-tell exploration of the important items from the Stanley Kubrick Archive loaned by the University of the Arts London for inclusion in the exhibition They Used to Call it the Moon. Chaired by BALTIC’s Curator of Exhibitions & Research, Alessandro Vincentelli, the conversation will include artist Joy Cuff, who worked with Kubrick on models and sketches of the Moon for 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Richard Daniels, Stanley Kubrick Archivist at University of the Arts London.


Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made and the touchstone for all science-fiction cinema since its original 1968 release, Stanley Kubrick’s science-fiction masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey was made over a period of four years and involved an unprecedented level of developmental research and pre-production. This show-and-tell discussion will use the items in the exhibition to address wider questions about the artistic and other research processes behind the film and their afterlife in Kubrick’s extensive Archive.


Digital Archive

Archive Catalogue

Library Catalogue