Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art

 Guardian Arts Gallery 2008 Jan 14 Exhibition Gd5672905@Julius-Kolleruniversa-5848  Guardian Arts Gallery 2008 Jan 14 Exhibition Gd5672901@Dr-Lakrauntitled-(Ala-4906
London's Barbican Art Gallery will soon feature a fun and intriguing group show called the Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, an exhibition curated by extraterrestrials for their otherworldly peers. The show includes 150 works from the likes of Joseph Beuys, Damien Hirst, Bruce Nauman, Andy Warhol, Mona Hatoum, Rebecca Warren, Cai Guo-Qiang, and more than 100 others. The Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art show opens March 6 and runs until May 18. The Guardian has an article about the exhibit and a slideshow of some of the artworks. Seen here, Julus Koller's "Universal Futurological Question Mark (UFO)" from 1978 and Dr Larka's 2006 piece "Untitled (Cupida Lupita)." From the show description:
Anthropologists from outer space set out on a mission to understand life on earth. Imagine that they begin their mission by examining the curious phenomenon that human beings call ‘contemporary art’. What does Art tell them about human life and culture?...

Believing these objects to have a real or functional use, the Museum’s curators deploy an eccentric classification system. They treat artworks as artifacts. The Martian perspective opens up contemporary art to fresh interpretations as well as humorous misunderstandings. In presuming to understand an unfamiliar culture, the Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art parodies the way that Western anthropologists historically viewed non-Western cultures through alien eyes.
Link to show page, Link to Guardian slideshow, Link to Guardian article (via Cabinet of Wonders)



  1. I love this idea and it has worked well for me in the classroom several times with a slight twist. Students take a typical scenario and view it through the eyes of visiting aliens who misconstrue the very nature of the events in most entertaining ways. Everyone should try this once a week, like Scott Bateman does with the news and his cartoons and captions (see Video Dog on Salon)

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