Apr 17th 2011

In honor of its eccentric orbit, its 176-day day, its large iron core, its tidal bulges and Beethoven Crater and its “gently rolling, hilly plains”, your navigators at SPACE PROGRAM hereby propose an audiovisual third fly-by of the smallest galactic sphere: MERCURY. The innermost planet of our Solar System, Mercury is metaphorically volatile, changeable, fickle and flighty. It is a slow rotation with a sharp edge; one that occupies the two poles of our human psyche – Mercury is radical darkness, sorrow and despair; Mercury is blinding radiance, heat and wonderment. Mercury is youth. It is the cusp of adulthood, the terrors of development, that bittersweet joy of (not) knowing enough. Viewed from our telescope, Mercury is Eva Marie Rødbro‘s constellation of Texan teenagers, all infrared desire and insect and nipple pierce and imminent danger—the anxiety of that next rotation is deep, soul-shaking. When we focus again, we see Mercury in the overwhelming sweetness and sorrow of Martin Bell and Mary Ellen MarksStreetwise—a document of a 1980s gang of Seattle street kids living in abandoned spaces (echoes of Thalia Hall), with the sort of heart-baring openness that can only come from living far too close to the sun… Where there is light, there is darkness.

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