Aleksandra Mir

Perspectives on Place

Theory and Practice in Landscape Photography
By J.A.P. Alexander
Fairchild Books, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 2015

Aleksandra Mir's monumental project First Woman on the Moon involved creating a giant beach sculpture that recreated a lunar landscape on a beach in the Netherlands. To complement the installation, the artist made accompanying documents, such as publicity material about the all-female team of astronauts. The structure, in contrast to other earthworks projects by the likes of Robert Smithson (1938-1970), Michael Heizer, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude, was an ephemeral construction and razed to the ground by a massive party on the same day that the diggers moved in. This poked fun at the grandiose nature of many earthwork or earth art projects. With this delightfully excessive and irreverent gesture, Mir makes the ironic, self-deprecating statement that for a woman to have any chance of standing on the moon she will have to first build it for herself. The further implication is that man's power over the landscape might as well be considered to extend beyond his own planet.