Modern Art Oxford
Space Tapestry: Earth Observation & Human Spaceflight
24 June – 12 November 2017
Space Tapestry: Faraway Missions
23 June – 15 October 2017
Modern Art Oxford and Tate Liverpool are proud to jointly present chapters from Aleksandra Mir’s new work Space Tapestry. Inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry and the anonymous artists who depicted Halley’s Comet in 1066, it is a large-scale hand-drawn monochrome wall hanging which forms an immersive environment. Much like a graphic novel, Space Tapestry tells an episodic visual story of space travel.
Over the past three years, Mir has formed relationships with professionals in the space industry and academia who have informed and inspired the Space Tapestry. The work draws out themes relating to current debates, recorded events, scientific discoveries, technological innovations and predictions of an imagined future that currently affect all our lives. In total, the finished Space Tapestry, drawn on synthetic canvas with marker pens, will be 200 metres long by 3 metres high. Work started on the tapestry in 2015 and it is estimated that it will take 3000 drawing hours to complete.
Mir has brought together a team of more than 25 collaborators, aged 18–24, to collectively draw the work by hand in her London-based studio following the artist’s design while they also leave personal marks on the work. Commenting on the process Mir said: ‘My objectives are to push drawing beyond the limits of the small-scale, manageable sheet of paper into a larger unruly reality; simultaneously a stage set, a choreographed dance and an improvisational performance act. I have worked on expanding this notion by bringing in other people to explore the potential of our tools, methods and relationship to each other. Working with a collective spirit diversifies the palette and the end result is the richer for it.’
The ambitious and large scale project is presented simultaneously at Modern Art Oxford and Tate Liverpool. Asking questions of and reflecting on the relative distances explored in the work – Jupiter is equally far away from Oxford as it is from Liverpool, for example – audiences are encouraged to visit both institutions to see the different chapters of the tapestry.
From 24 June – 12 November, Modern Art Oxford presents Space Tapestry: Earth Observation & Human Spaceflight, the latest addition to Space Tapestry. The graphic and textual content of these chapters considers the evolution of advanced technology in relation to our daily lives, while a series of industry marketing slogans aimed at selling the future possibilities of space have been transformed by the young collaborators into visual poems that consider their own futures. The prospect of balancing technological progress with humanistic objectives is explored and expressed through the work’s layered and participatory execution.
As the density and utility of satellites increases and human spaceflight enters the next phase of civilians following trained astronauts into space, the emergent fields of space policy, economics and law, space medicine, space psychology, space sociology and space communication follow and feed into our pop cultural ideas of space. Mir’s drawings at Modern Art Oxford both celebrate and ask questions of their expertise.
From 23 June – 15 October Tate Liverpool presents Space Tapestry: Faraway Missions. From the unfathomable distances between us and the planets that form our solar system, to our constant quest to find extraterrestrial life, Faraway Missions reflects society’s relationship with space and our insatiable curiosity to find out if we are alone in the universe. The 40 metre tapestry will be combined with 39 smaller drawings depicting a series of probes that have been sent into outer space since the 1950s, exploring parts of the cosmos further away from our reach but closer in our understanding of it. Together, these works invite visitors to consider not only the great discoveries of space exploration, but to see the romance in science and gain perspective on humanity’s significance in the universe and our relationships to one another.
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Notes for Editors
For press information about Space Tapestry: Earth Observation & Human Spaceflight at Modern Art Oxford, please contact 01865 813 826, firstname.lastname@example.org
For press information about Space Tapestry: Faraway Missions at Tate Liverpool, please contact: 0151 702 7444/5, Dominic.Beaumont@tate.org.uk
Aleksandra Mir: Space Tapestry will be accompanied by a forthcoming publication containing reproductions of the artwork and conversations between the artist and space specialists.
Aleksandra Mir Biography
Born 1967, Lubin, Poland, citizen of Sweden and USA and based in London, Aleksandra Mir has an international practice of 25 years and has held numerous exhibitions worldwide, including The Space Age, a retrospective at M-Museum, Leuven, 2013 and the 34m mural Drawing Room, London, 2014. She has developed many large-scale collaborative projects on space exploration. Her most well know project, First Woman on the Moon 1999, has been touring for 17 years and is included in the collections of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Tate.
Tate Liverpool forms part of the iconic Albert Dock and is at the heart of the Liverpool Waterfront. The gallery attracts an average of 600,000 visits a year and hosts a diverse and lively special exhibitions and events programme while displaying work from the national collection free of charge.
EXHIBITIONS AT MODERN ART OXFORD IN 2017
Rose Finn-Kelcey: Life, Belief and Beyond
15 July – 15 October 2017 | Press Preview Friday 14 July 2017, 11am – 1pm
Life, Belief and Beyond is the first posthumous exhibition of works by the highly acclaimed British artist Rose Finn-Kelcey (b. 1945, Northampton, UK – d. 2014, London, UK). Finn-Kelcey was a central figure in the performance and Feminist art scene in Britain for four decades.
11 November 2017 – 18 February 2018 | Press Preview Friday 10 November 2017, 11am – 1pm
Hannah Ryggen (b. 1894, Malmö, Sweden – d. 1970, Trondheim, Norway) is one of Scandinavia’s most outstanding artistic figures, renowned for her monumental tapestries exploring the political concerns of her time; from the rise of the women’s rights movement, to far right ideologies and social inequality.
Modern Art Oxford is supported by Arts Council England and Oxford City Council.
The production of Aleksandra Mir: Space Tapestry is supported by the UK Space Agency, the Science & Technology Facilities Council and Arts Council England. Space Tapestry: Faraway Missions is supported by Tate Liverpool Commissioning Circle.