Venus Mirror (8/6/08, Copenhagen)
Simon Starling ( British, 1967 )
The themes of transit and historical discovery that recur in Simon Starling’s work are central to the development of his sculpture Venus Mirror (8/6/08, Copenhagen). In this work, Simon Starling alludes to a complex tale of exploration undertaken in 1874 by the French astronomer Pierre César Jules Janssen. In the late 19th century, Janssen developed a special camera to document the celestial path of the planet Venus across the sun. This telescope-camera hybrid allowed repeated, timed exposures to be made upon a single circular daguerreotype plate. Armed with this innovative device, Janssen set out for Japan to observe and record the rarely visible transit of Venus across the face of the sun on the mirrorlike surface of the circular daguerreotype.
Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 176.