Greetings from Mars: Surreal Snapshots by Julien Mauve

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Between smart phones, the internet, and artificial intelligence, it already feels like we’re living a futuristic sci-fi fantasy. But Photographer Juleien Mauve imagines a world no more than fifty years ahead where space travel will enter the equation, becoming so accessible that Mars will be a tourist destination. While Christopher Columbus began exploring America in 1492, so “Curiosity” probes the surface of Mars now. Inspired by iconic Wild West photographer Ansel Adams, Mauve’s stunning photographic series Greetings from Mars combines landscapes that closely resemble the red planet with typical “tourist” poses to investigate this formulaic style and our seemingly inherent desire to share a piece of ourselves with the rest of the world. A lone astronaut in each photo begs the question, Why do we include ourselves in landscapes? How does this affirm some sense of identity, and our never-ending search to discover it? While some of the wider views are almost hauntingly beautiful, creating a surreal dune-filled landscape that all but consumes the diminutive figure, others have a sharp satirical edge: an astronaut jumping on a plateau, dramatically spreading its arms in front of a crater, or two holding up a selfie-stick with a canyon in the distance. As with touristic images as a genre, the figures practically equate themselves to the majestic landscapes they occupy and it becomes alarming to consider Mars as yet another ‘backdrop’ for our narcissism. Mauve’s humorous yet dark commentary illuminates the vanity behind our endless pursuit of identity, perhaps teaching us more about human nature in just two dimensions than we could ever learn in real life. Read more about the artist and her work here.

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Lizzie Wright

Lizzie

​Lizzie Wright is an aspiring artist and designer with a passion for the written word. While she works on her BFA in Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), she spends her (rare) spare time riding around Providence on her trusty Cannondale and drinking lots of coffee. She is especially fascinated by the dichotomy between aesthetic form and function, which has an immense influence on her work. As a lover of the natural world, Lizzie plans to focus on Nature, Culture, and Sustainability Studies to pursue a more efficient future for design. Read more by visiting her website

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