One Giant Leap for Mankind

Ideologue Sneak Peek – 2009: A Space Exodus

UMOCA’s upcoming Main Gallery show, Ideologue, is a group exhibition that brings together international and national contemporary artists who employ humor and hyperbole to reimagine platforms of ideology. Through text, print, video, and sculpture, the projects in Ideologue playfully map out how contemporary artists poke fun at the political universe and its pointed claims to social truth.

 

A Space Exodus, 2009, video, 5.24 minutes, Courtesy of the artist and Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Madrid

A Space Exodus, 2009, video, 5.24 minutes, Courtesy of the artist and Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Madrid

 

Larissa Sansour’s interdisciplinary work saturates contemporary political dialogue with video, photography, installation, and sculpture. In her 2009 work, A Space Exodus, Sansour cleverly adapts a stretch of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick, a director whose influence permeates Sansour’s oeuvre.

 

In the five-minute film, Sansour packs in evocative imagery, high production, and loaded connotations. Overlaying our views of space and Earth are the immediately recognizable musical scores of A Space Odyssey—from “Also Sprach Zarathustra” to “The Blue Danube”—transposed with arabesque sounds. Dressed in an astronaut suit, Sansour references Neil Armstrong’s famous moon landing before she immerses the scene into a Middle Eastern context, subverting one of our world’s most iconic phrases with a simple line: “One small step for a Palestinian, one giant leap for mankind.”

 

Palestinauts, 2010, 24 hard vinyl sculptures, 30 x 25 cm, courtesy of the artist and Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Madrid

Palestinauts, 2010, 24 hard vinyl sculptures, 30 x 25 cm, courtesy of the artist and Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Madrid

 

Sansour’s elaborate effects and staging, paired with her charming, 30-centimeter-tall Palestinauts, lay the stage for a surprisingly powerful gesture. A Space Exodus interposes the humorous and tongue-in-cheek with the impactful, consequential, and very real political questions of our world. Watch a clip below:

 

A Space Exodus from larissa sansour on Vimeo.

 

Ideologue will be on show in UMOCA’s Main Gallery Feb. 5 – July 23.
Join us for the museum-wide opening reception on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.
> View the Exhibition

Thanks to the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Grandeur Peak Funds.