Aleksandra Mir

Space Tapestry - Probes

TATE LIVERPOOL—Faraway Missions is a series of drawings pondering the vast distances between us and other celestial bodies. It comments on our need to know if we are alone in in the Universe, and addresses the ongoing fascination with and exploration of our Solar System and beyond with the help of telescopes and probes. Paradoxically however, this outward motion is reflected in an existential need to understand our own place and purpose in the universe. We would like to know how our own planet formed and where life on Earth came from and the answers seem to be out there...

... The Probe series is the result of a dynamic group exercise in my studio: while I selected the designs, at least 3 collaborators work on the texture of each drawing. This activity mimics the teamwork key to every space mission. I have been intrigued by the seemingly unlimited variety of designs, and these are my own lyrical depictions of actual probes. I find them very romantic, our charming surrogates and messengers, modern day Cupids. We fall in love easily with these machines. Consider the public involvement with little Philae, the first probe that landed on a comet in 2014. Or the collective sorrow that is felt when probes crash. Scientists who work on these missions can devote their whole careers to a project, so they will be emotionally invested, and more and more, the public is too. Is it possible, therefore, to look at these missions as love stories?

Aleksandra Mir, Tate Liverpool, Exhibition Brochure, 2017