Aleksandra Mir

Interview with Aleksandra Mir

By Ann LandiBy Ann Landi
ARTnews, New York, April 2012

Ann Landi: So much of your work references space travel, the moon and planets, and outer space in general, how and when did you become fascinated with these phenomena? And, of course, why?

Aleksandra Mir: I was born in 1967 and I remember watching my parents watching the moon landing on TV in communist Poland when I was 2 years old. There was lots of cheering and so much energy and I must have been taken by it. By now my memories blend with the numerous reruns I have witnessed myself and it is simply part of the general mythology that surrounds me. The broadcast was truly a global event and what interests me the most about it today is how it marks a moment that 'everyone' remembers and can refer to. It verges on the universal experiences of birth, love and death.

Have you ever been part of the NASA artists' residency program? Is this something that interests you?

I am a NASA junkie. I have been to the space center numerous times and collected their books and parnaphernalia for many of my projects, but I have never approached or been approached by the residency. I am not sure if I would be the right artist for it, I am not particularily concerned with science, or truth.

Do you feel a sense of optimism about the future of space travel? (maybe Newt Gingrich will send us all to the moon)?

When I did the First Woman on the Moon in 1999 a lot of people kept conflating it with the real thing. Even today, if you google 'First Woman on the Moon' my name comes up, which is truly absurd. I am a performance artist, not an astronaut, and no, I really wouldn't want to make that trip to outer space for real. Having spent 20 years on the road with my art, I get cranky if I have to get on the Eurostar to go from London to Paris, I find regular flying unbearable and lets not even discuss jetlag. I am happy to leave outer space to future generations and lets hope it will be a positive experience for them. But by then I will be the old lady on the bus.