3 April -23 May 2010
Berwick-upon-Tweed Barracks, Gymnasium Art Gallery, and Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed, UK
Andro Semeiko has made a body of work to document the secret creation of a space rocket designed to fly to Mars. Built by a secret society, work began underground in the 17th century and has been ongoing for three centuries to meet the launch date sometime this year! The secret society has employed experienced miners from the Forest of Dean, who had previously helped the English to capture Berwick-upon-Tweed from the Scots in the 13th century. The miners have dug tunnels that stretch under the river Tweed to the village of Spittal, which is the actual point where Rocket MT2010 has been constructed. Specially trained rhinos were also shipped in from India to help with the excavations. The final preparations for the first flight of the Rocket MT2010 are about to commence. The secret society will select fifteen lucky people from Berwick-upon-Tweed to man the rocket on its maiden voyage. They will experience the lovingly crafted Mock Tudor rocket, where things are on a miniature scale but have a grand appearance! Every detail of the rocket has been considered by the secret society. For example, the crewmembers’ urine will be reworked into a delicious drink and their nail clipping will be processed into spacey porridge. The secret society has integrated itself into all levels of the community, enabling them to deny and cover up any rumours that the chimney at Spittal point is in fact the tip of their rocket. Can anyone stop the launch of this Mock Tudor rocket? What is the secret society’s unknown quest to Mars? And why are the people of Berwick-upon-Tweed being offered this unique experience?
Project Unveiling consists of an installation in the Gymnasium Gallery and an artist's book publication. The installation contains paintings, sculptures, drawings, blueprints, models, a slideshow and items from the museums' collection. It operates in contemporary art context by using mechanisms of archival documentation as well as theatrical methods of delivering a narrative. The blueprints of the Rocket MT2010 are developed in collaboration with Pierre Maré Architects. A life-size model of the rocket is built in collaboration with aircraft engineer Simon Heald.
As part of the project an artist book 'Unveiling: Rocket MT2010' was published (48 pages, edition of 1000). It contains images of Semeiko's work, and texts specially written by Neil Mulholland and JJ Charlesworth. It is edited and published in collaboration with Basement Art Projects. The story 'Invisible with Light' by Neil Mulholland featured in the book can be read here >