"Greeting from Mars" is a breathtaking new photo series by Paris-based photographer, Julien Mauve that explores the ideas of discovery, tourism, and the representation of self. Mauve imagines and creates gorgeous compositions of astronauts visiting Mars; the series is the resulting photographs that would've been taken on that day of and by the visiting humans. Although "Greeting from Mars" depicts a time in the future, it's a brilliant commentary on the current age of the selfie. People are so obsessed with capturing themselves in new places, doing cool things, and introducing their friends and followers to their "discoveries" via Instagram and Facebook that the photographs proving that moment happened are more important than the actual moment itself. Mauve plays with this idea in his new series, by showing what it might look like if and when the first humans step foot and explore Mars – the ultimate Insta-brag moment. And yes, in case you're wondering, selfie sticks make the long journey to the red planet and taking a photo with your iPad on Mars looks just as ridiculous as it does on earth.
Mauve explains in his artist statement, "I have always wondered what it would be like to discover a totally different world, lifeless, full of wild landscapes and to photograph it for the first time as if I was Ansel Adams. So I came up with this project, which is about space exploration and discovery. But it's also about our behavior in front of landscapes and how we create pictures that will share our personal story with the world. In every spots I stopped, carefully chosen for their similarities with the red planet, I imitated stereotypical tourist poses. It's interesting to observe the way we act in front of the camera, how we include ourselves in the landscapes, how those landscapes trigger the desire to affirm our presence. And how the way we take pictures exposes the vanity involved in our endless pursuit of self-definition."
Here are a few more images from Mauve's beautiful and apt series.