Aleksandra Mir

Mars Attacks

The Scotsman, Edinburgh, June 2000
By Elisabeth Mahoney

Pyramids of Mars
10 May - 5 Aug 2000
Trapholt Art Museum, Æblehaven 23, Kolding - Denmark

8 April - 22 July 2000
Fruitmarket gallery, 45 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland - UK

8 Feb - 25 March 2000
Barbican Art Centre (Curve Gallery), Silk Street, London - UK

In 1975 the world saw the first clear aerial images of the surface of Mars. Not only did they give credence to the idea of life on Mars; they appeared to show mile high pyramids and a Sphinx-like rock face too. Earthlings, wearing flares and smocks, went into a frenzy of speculation: were the Egyptian pyramids really evidence of extraterrestrial influence on human development? In the 1990s, a new NASA probe photographed the same area of Mars and found nothing—it had all been a trick of light.

The works included in 'Pyramids of Mars', the ambitious new show at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery, is only tangentially connected to this clash of interplanetary fact and fiction, but it's a suggestive enough starting point for thinking about other ways of living. Jens Haaning bring s a cut-price supermarket into the gallery; Danish artist group Superflex, a live internet TV station. Henrik Hakansson's years of trying to communicate with other creatures has resulted in all manner of animal magic, while Jeremy Dellar has been busy compiling two years' worth of home-made video documentary recording turn of the century Britain. Princess Diana turns up along the post-club kebab shops: she features too in Aleksandra Mir's celebrity based map of society, "like Hello on acid" Remember, the truth around us can be stranger than any Martian fiction.