In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we’ve been seeing a lot of pictures of space, astronauts and Apollo 11.
Curator Jon Feinstein wanted to do something a little bit different.
Together with VICE, he chose a series of images, from exhibitions all over the United States, that capture the spirit of the moon landing, and the possibilities that space exploration opened up.
You can see Jacque Njeri’s untitled artwork above.
The majority of the artists shown here use photography to approach outer space through cultural and media-soaked representations of the interstellar. Some artists, like Amelia Bauer and Cassandra Klos, use desert landscapes as stand-ins for imagined territories you might see in films like Star Trek, Flash Gordon, or The Martian. While it might look like Mars, it’s just some rocky terrain in New Mexico or Utah. Similarly, Joy Drury Cox’s photos of oil stains on parking lot concrete resemble the surface of the moon.
Artists Azikiwe Mohammed, Djeneba Aduayom, and Jacque Njeri reference Afro-futurist movements extending from the early 1990s through today’s Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther and beyond, which see African Diaspora and liberation through a lens of science fiction and technology. And then there’s the absurdism of Jacob Haupt’s hilariously cartoonish and obviously faked image of a spandex-clad “astronaut” being shot into space while giving the thumbs up.
There are 30 images in total, and we’ve selected 10 of our favourites:
Anastasia Samoylova – Blood Moon
Bill Finger – Stars Look Different
Djeneba Aduayom – Capsulated 7
Cody Cobb – Dark Side
Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber – Space Center, 2013
Sadie Wechsler – Fright Night
Harold Diaz – Boy Light
Penelope Umbrico – Still Photo of Everyone’s Moon 2015-11-04 14:22:59, 2015
Azikiwe Mohammed – untitled
Jacob Haupt – untitled
Of course, an alien was going to feature at least once.
You can view more moon landing-inspired art here.
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