Paris-based photographer Julien Mauve (b. 1984) confronts us with an immediate reflection: while more than 500 years ago, we defined archetypical explorers through events like Columbus ‘discovering’ America, an explorer nowadays is a robot called Curiosity, now moving around the surface of Mars. It’s even possible that Mars will become a touristic destination within the next decades. Greetings from Mars is a series that visualizes this happening.
Mauve’s photographs have been carefully staged and taken in places that resemble the surfaces of the far-off planet, showing interplanetarian tourists taking pictures of themselves and of the landscapes. “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, how the way we take pictures exposes the vanity involved in our endless pursuit of self-definition.” explains Mauve. The photographer's aim with this series is to question himself and the viewer. Has the purpose of traveling changed drastically? Are we still traveling for the sake of discovery, or is it now a matter of taking new pictures of ourselves to prove our own existence?
How will we behave as tourists when we'll finally get to Mars?