6 Artists on Outer Space


“When we look at the sky, we try to figure out something about who we are, or where we came from, or where we’re going.”
Watch six artists – Trevor Paglen, Laurie Anderson, Alicja Kwade, Tom Sachs, Rachel Rose, and Hiroshi Sugimoto – on their attraction to outer space.

It was a feeling of being “deconditioned” that marked the beginning of American artist Rachel Rose’s (b. 1986) video work about mortality explored through the “out-of-body experience” of an astronaut. The work of American artist Tom Sachs (b. 1966) also involves astronauts, albeit pretend-ones, who in his space program are sent on a fictional journey into space. There are three reasons, Sachs argues, why people go to the Moon: “Spirituality, sensuality and stuff…” American artist Trevor Paglen (b. 1974) photographs all the space junk and hidden objects that are in orbit around the Earth in the “charged landscape” of the sky, just as Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto (b.1948) has photographed the Moon and turned it upside down. “It’s funny to think about daily problems when you think about you living on a rotating rock somewhere,” says Polish artist Alicja Kwade (b. 1979), who feels that the questions she raises through her sculptural artwork are the same as those of science and philosophy. Finally, American multimedia artist Laurie Anderson (b. 1947) – who was the first and the last artist in residence at NASA – approaches outer space through VR, having been comforted by the sky since childhood: “I knew that I was from the sky… I loved the sky.”

All interviews by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen, Christian Lund, Mikkel Rosengaard and Haruko Hoyle.

Cover photo: From ‘Debris’, 2010 by Trevor Paglen. Courtesy of the artist
Produced and edited by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen and Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2019

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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