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A film and performance event curated by Simona Zemaityte and Giulia Saccogna

3Space - Oxford Street, London 2014


'The event Life On Mars invites all those fascinated with space to get together for a screening of the extraordinary Russian silent film “Aelita”, which this year celebrates its 90th anniversary. Throughout the night the audience will also engage in a dreamy travel through soundscapes and imagery created by contemporary artists. All right in the heart of the city. For centuries humans have been fascinated by space travel. The attempt to penetrate space affirms our innate sense of curiosity and our need to widen frontiers and go beyond them.


The programme of the night evolves around the relation between Mars and Earth,drawing a link between two planets, reality and fantasy, science fiction and documentary.The evening is a tribute to nine decades of the Russian classic “Aelita” by Yakov Protazanov and the eve of the 53rd anniversary of the first human flight to orbit the Earth by Yuri Gagarin. 90 years after Protazanov’s film, Mars missions and colonisation are all suddenly coming into focus as close-to-realistic propositions. To celebrate humanity’s close encounters with the surface of Mars and ahead of the exhibition at the Science Museum in London this autumn on the Soviet space programme, this evening will link the two anniversaries,celebrating the film that contributed enormously to the popularization of spaceflight in Soviet culture in the ‘20s, and still today fascinates for its influence over future science fiction films. As part of this special event, the venue will be transformed by selected international visual artists. Amongst them, artist, adventurer and future astronaut Michael Najjar,documentary filmmaker and former planetary scientist Christopher Riley, French visual artist Anaïs Tondeur, and, premiering his work in UK, Lithuanian artist Vsevolod Kovalevskij.


The night will also feature a sound performance, based on NASA transmissions, by the sound artist Andrew Page whose work has been exhibited in art galleries in the UK,Europe, America and Canada. Renowned film scholar and Sight & Sound contributor Ian Christie will introduce the screening.'


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