Event horizon: scenes from the frontier of extraterrestrial exploration

Soviet Space Dreams

On the ground at Earth's space exploration bases

11 September 2015

Vincent Fournier’s Space Project explores humanity’s yearning for worlds beyond our own. Over the course of the project, the Paris-based photographer has visited the key terrestrial bases of space exploration: the cosmonaut training centre of Star City outside Moscow, the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and Utah’s Mars Desert Research Station.

His images however are more than just a mere documentation of these locations but a dive into the visual universe sparked by dreams of space. “My work is loosely inspired by the mystery that scientific and technological utopias echo in the collective imagination,” says Fournier.

“With the Space Project I have voluntarily mixed a historic and documentary vision of space adventure with staged simulations fed by cinema and my childhood memories.” In his images we see the lonely figures of future astronauts squeezed into white space suits, breathtaking landscapes reminiscent of Interstellar, the strange contrast of Soviet-style flowered wallpaper interiors and sophisticated high-tech equipment.

“For me these mythical places of space exploration become film sets where Jacques Tati would meet with Jules Verne or Stanley Kubrick,” says Fournier. “I like it when the border between reality and fiction remains vague.”

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