The ideal place to relate this piece of art might be in a pub. You could try a dinner party, but you may not get the requisite howls of disbelief.
“There’s this German artist, see, who wants to fly to the moon. No she’s not in a space training programme. She’s going to let herself be towed there by geese. Bear with me.
“So she’s got these eleven geese in a specially built lunar landscape in a place called Pollinaria. That’s Italy. She reckons it will get them used to the idea.
“She’s also been educating them. Teaching them about flying in a V, about space junk, orbits, etc. They’re all named after astronauts and the like. Like Yuri, etc.”
Such is the way with urban myths. Agnes Meyer-Brandis has taken a 17th century story by English bishop Francis Godwin, and turned it into a 21st century anecdote.
The original text is called The Man in the Moone and features the world’s first, goose-powered, spaceman. You could call it early sci-fi, and continue thus:
“Cut a long story short, she is their mum now. She imprinted herself on them by hanging out with the eggs and then 24/7 when they hatched.
“She even read Kurt Schwitters to them, some performance poem without words. No don’t ask me who he is. I don’t know either. Same again?
“Anyway my mate told me about it, knows someone who saw it in a gallery. They’ve built a sort of mission control. You can switch views of the geese on six screens.
“Swear by God, it’s true. You can watch them waddle in and out of the craters. It’s like they’ve already made it. Just imagine, hitching a lift with some geese.”
If you want a less bibulous experience of this work, make your way to FACT. There you will find the control room and a 20-minute film about the ’journey’.
Watching this reel in a sort of decompression chamber, it is hard to say where the art is located. Is it in Italy? Is it in FACT? Or is it simply in the mind, or in conversation?