Starry, Starry Night

Trevor Van den Eijnden
Digital photography, and NASA Deep Space telescopic photography
Digital collage
C-Print
Edition of nine
26 x 41 cm
2010

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Pulling its genesis from Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, this project points out the hypocrisy of a place la ville-lumière (City of Light) that today suffers from an appalling level of atmospheric light pollution. The origin of the nickname stems from the city’s prominence at the centre of the Age of Enlightenment, and was later reinforced as it became an early adopter of street lighting in the 19th Century. Today the name is romanticized with the nickname being used to emphasis the city as a space for the light of love. Unfortunately however bright the man-made lights, the enlightened minds, and love of lovers may be, the most original signifiers of love, knowledge, and locators of spaces—the light that lead us to explore, that make us seem magical yet small—are barely visible from the cobbles of this grande capital. An exaggeration of this observation is achieved with the surreal emotive juxtaposition of NASA deep-space photographs collaged against modern urban landscapes. We project upon places to give rise to mythic spaces, and this vast divide between reality and fiction is a small yet global observation of what we truly value, and what we lose as a result.