Mariner 9 presents a panoramic view of a Martian landscape set hundreds of years into the future, littered with the rusting remains from various missions to the planet. Despite its suggested abandoned state, several of the spacecraft continue to partially function, to do their intended jobs, to ultimately find signs of life, possibly transmitting the data back to no one.
Mariner 9 was created using scenery-generation software employed by the film and gaming industries in combination with technical data from NASA’s missions to Mars to produce a faithful artist’s rendering of Martian terrain, populated by the debris from centuries of exploration through real and imagined spacecraft in the centre of a duststorm. “Cinematic tropes of sci-fi films abound, but any search for a clear narrative is frustrated. Presented with minimal action, we wonder instead about the search for life beyond our own planet and the simultaneous destruction of life on earth.” (Laurel MacMillan, Programmer for TIFF Future Projections)
Coinciding with the landing of NASA’s Mars Science Labroratory aka “Curiosity” on the planet at the beginning of August, in a 12-metre long panoramic installation Richardson’s Mariner 9 saw its world premiere in the raw splendour of the Spanish City Dome in Whitley Bay, August 3 – August 19, 2012.
Kelly Richardson was born in Burlington, Ontario, Canada in 1972. Having studied fine and media arts, she received her undergraduate degree from the Ontario College of Art & Design (Canada) and her masters degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (Canada) and Newcastle University (UK).
Richardson has been widely acclaimed in North America, Asia and Europe. Her work was selected for the Beijing, Gwangju and Busan biennales, and major moving image exhibitions including the The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality and the Moving Image at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, USA) and Caixaforum (Barcelona, Spain), Videosphere: A New Generation at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, USA) and Visions Fugitives at Le Fresnoy (Tourcoing, France). Her video installations have been included in the Toronto International Film Festival as part of Future Projections (2012), Sundance Film Festival in New Frontier (2011 and 2009) and in 2009, she was honoured as the featured artist at the Americans for the Arts National Arts Awards. Richardson’s work has been acquired by major museums across the UK, USA and Canada, from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Albright-Knox Art Gallery to the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Towner.
A 15 year retrospective of her work is currently on tour, beginning at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (UK), followed by the Grundy Art Gallery (UK), Towner (UK) and Albright-Knox Art Gallery (USA), followed by a smaller presentation at the Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver (Canada). She has been living and working in North East England since 2003.
凯利·理查森(Kelly Richardson)在她最新的委任作品“Mariner 9”(2012)中继续探索了这些理念，目前这件作品正在惠特利湾颇具历史意义的Spanish City Dome展出。这件长12米的全景装置描绘了一幅黑暗的火星的画面。我们会发现这件作品里的“景观”充满了各种各样的岩石碎屑——或者更像是之前的探险太空船留下来的残骸。而当前正在火星上执行任务的“好奇号”火星车也许也将加入这片由人类的探索产生的“大象的墓地”。这里没有提到这些机器死亡的原因；它任由我们去想象是否是因为发生了火星人的回击，或是在对这个红色星球进行殖民化的过程中的一次错误的操作。从某种角度来说，这些尝试性的探索、扩张人类认知(以获得权力)的欲望都是一些如神一般的试图捕获信息以便无所不知的行为。然而正如凯利·理查森(Kelly Richardson)在这件作品中所暗示的那样，我们不是神；我们只是充满了弱点而又狂妄自大的人类。虽然我们试图去控制世界的尝试失败了，但它给未知或是在计划外的事物的出现留下了空间。