Photo: Julien Mauve
The exploration of Space is, metaphorically, also an exploring of mankind. Just like the discovery of America disclosed a completely new, far-away world, Mars robot Curiosity brought breathtaking landscapes back home of a world that will in soon be accessible to us. The French artist Julien Mauve took this view as the departure point for an art project about Man on Mars.
Mauve is a visual artist based in Paris, creating cinematographic and narrative photography series dealing with human interactions and conditions. His work raises questions about our future, the threats that our civilization is facing, the quest meaning and our relationship with technologies.
“I have always wondered what it would be like to discover a totally different world, lifeless, full of wild landscapes and to photograph it for the first time as if I was Ansel Adams’, says Julien Mauve. His project Greetins from Mars (2015) is about space exploration and discovery and on how people create stories in front of (new) landscapes. He toured through Arizonaselecting landscape that have (visual) similarities with planet Mars. “I imitated stereotypical tourist poses. It's interesting to observe the way we act in front of the camera, how we include ourselves in the landscapes, how those landscapes trigger the desire to affirm our presence. And how the way we take pictures exposes the vanity involved in our endless pursuit of self-definition.” He observes the shift from taking pictures of landscapes as travel soubenirs to the human need to include themselves in them. “Some years ago, taking pictures of landscapes was enough. And we were not able to share them before we came back home. Today we have added ourselves on the pictures. Our faces are everywhere. We share everything instantly; we feel the need to do it. […] So we might ask ourselves, do we travel to discover new places, change of scene, new cultures, or do we travel to look for pictures of ourselves and to prove that we exist?” Thus, he ponders, the question of life in outer space might be just as relevant as the state of human life on Earth.
Find out more on: http://www.julienmauve.com/greetings-from-mars