Black Drop/ Oxford was produced for Modern Art Oxford to accompany Simon Starling’s 2013 exhibition Black Drop, which responded to the rare planetary phenomenon of the transit of Venus and its relationship to the beginnings of moving image technology.
The most recent transit of Venus took place in June 2012, and will likely be the last in our lifetimes, with the next taking place in 2117. With the medium of film rapidly disappearing, Starling decided to visit Hawaii and Tahiti to film the transit and the sites of previous observations – Point Venus, Tahiti, in 1769 and Honolulu in 1874 – documenting the last transit to be recorded using 35mm technology. The resulting film is a multilayered documentary, narrated by Peter Capaldi, and illustrated with still and moving images of geographical locations and historical information, set against the backdrop of a 35mm film-editing suite.
Black Drop was commissioned by Modern Art Oxford, in association with the University of Oxford, and was first shown at the Radcliffe Observatory, which was built with funds from John Radcliffe’s legacy at the suggestion of the astronomer Dr. Thomas Hornsby, following his observation of the 1769 transit of Venus.
Following the installation of Black Drop at the Radcliffe Observatory, it was exhibited at Modern Art Oxford, alongside Venus Mirrors (2012) and a poster designed to mark both Oxford screenings. This edition is a reproduction of the poster.
A limited edition of 40 prints, exclusive to Modern Art Oxford. Signed, dated and numbered verso, by the artist. All our editions come with a certificate of authenticity.
Modern Art Oxford editions are generously donated by the artists. All proceeds from the sale of these works directly support our exhibition and education programmes.
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