Eyes on Mars: Rare 1970s NASA Photos

Made up of shots from the Mariner 4 and Viking 1 missions, the new London exhibition presents collages from vintage photographs of the mysterious planet

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Introducing the eerie landscape of Mars through abstract art collages as never seen before, an extraordinary exhibition at Daniel Blau gallery this September presents a rare series of NASA photographs from the 1970s. Consisting of surprisingly detailed photographs taken by the Mariner 4 probe in July 1965 and the Viking 1 missions, 'Eyes on Mars' looks back at a time in history when technological advancements in space exploration had reached incomparable heights.

These pieces are significant in and of themselves as they represent a major achievement in human history. The new images are important but the aesthetic is completely different from those exhibited here. We have selected the pieces we find most visually interesting

Dazed Digital: How did this exhibition come about and where were the images sourced from?
Carrie Foulkes:
This exhibition is composed entirely of original NASA photos from the 1970s expeditions. Daniel, the gallery director, has collected these pieces over a long period of time, so the exhibition draws from his extensive collection. We have exhibited NASA prints before, but we thought it would be interesting to focus specifically on Mars. We decided this a while ago and so it seems especially fitting now, considering the recent landing.

DD: What do you think has been the most interesting image you've seen of the surface of Mars and why?
Carrie Foulkes: I find the mosaicked panoramas in our exhibition the most intriguing, as I've never seen anything like them before. They are hand-collaged silver gelatin prints. The scanned copies don't do them justice, they should definitely be seen first-hand to be properly appreciated.

DD: What do you feel will be the most important significance between these images in light of the recent new images taken by the Rover Curiosity?
Carrie Foulkes: These pieces are significant in and of themselves as they represent a major achievement in human history. The new images are important but the aesthetic is completely different from those exhibited here. We have selected the pieces we find most visually interesting.

DD: What do you hope to achieve (e. g in terms of the audience's reactions) by bringing to surface these images from the 1970s?

Carrie Foulkes: As a vintage photography gallery our aim is to preserve analogue photography and expose the public to unusual material. These analogue pictures from the 70s are works of art that have been printed and framed and can be owned as objects.

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