Mars Needs Women. Not as the b-movie director Larry Buchanan pictured it, but more photomontage artists Richard Selesnik and Nicholas Kahn imagine the colonization of The Red Planet.
To mark its exploratory craft Curiosity's touchdown on the red planet, Nasa commissioned the Anglo-American photo-novella artists - well known for their beguilingly antique takes on science fiction - to produce their vision of life on Mars. Furnishing the artists with photo-mosaic panoramas taken by earlier rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the space agency simply informed the pair that Mars was "where we're going next". As Kahn told Wired.com, "we hadn't been thinking about Mars until they told us to."
However, having focused on planet, Selesnik and Kahn have conjured up a vision that has more in common with The Man Who Fell To Earth or Jean "Moebius" Giraud's comics, than Saturn 5. Their series, entitled Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, combines genuine Martian landmarks with inspired fantasy set pieces. In particular, the pair chose to feature female figures, as Kahn explained. "I think Earth wouldn't be on its path toward destruction if it was run by women," he told Wired.com, "So we decided to give mars a little hope by sending two women up who wouldn't necessarily see conquering and seizing all of its minerals as a main thing."
Certainly, the duo's ambition, to "bring NASA into a kind of Barbarella age again" seems successful, if this series is anything to go by. View all the images here.
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