Kunsthal KAdE museum to offer visual voyage to Mars

Angelo Vermeulen, ‘HI-SEAS Mission I,’ 2013. Image courtesy Kunsthal KAdE

AMERSFOORT, Netherlands – Kunsthal KAdE will present an artistic vision of a voyage to the planet Mars, what so far is still an impossible journey. “One Way Ticket to Mars,” which opens Sept. 21 and runs through Jan. 12, will allow visitors to experience various aspects of the journey to Mars and what it is like there.

How relentless are the conditions on this planet waiting to be discovered? Is living on Mars a frightening idea, or a provocative thought? The exhibition comprises four narratives: the desire, the journey, the stay and homesickness. It features new and existing works by artists, designers, architects and scientists from the Netherlands and abroad. Science journalist Govert Schilling created a timeline for the exhibition with the most important milestones and unique objects in the history of space exploration to Mars. He included NASA and ESA photos to show the beauty of the planet.

Mars is the planet closest to earth. Christiaan Huygens mapped the planet back in 1659. In 2011, the Amersfoort-based organization Mars One announced plans to start a colony on Mars. Within a short time, 1,000 candidates had expressed interest in a one-way trip to Mars. Elon Musk from SpaceX assumes that it will be possible to build a Mars base as soon as 2024. President Trump has pledged the NASA will send a mission to Mars in the future.

Where does this search for the unknown originate? Visual art is perfect for imagining a journey to an undiscovered destination. For this exhibition, artists and designers portray possible outcomes. They identify obstacles and propose solutions. Work by artists including Jan Fabre, Carel Willink and Tom Claassen will be displayed alongside works by a younger generation of artists and scientists such as Luke Jerram and Angelo Vermeulen.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog that includes an essay by sociologist and author Ruben Jacobs. Writing about the desire to go to Mars, Jacobs also poses critical questions; for example, he states: “Recreating a biosphere on a planet that is extremely hostile to humans such as Mars is still far more difficult than keeping our own planet habitable as a place to live.”