The celestial vault and its contemplation have always exerted a deep fascination in human beings. For centuries, we have looked to the stars to represent our beliefs, and through them we have explained many of the phenomena that surround us. Long before the first human spacecraft landed on Mars in 1971, the red planet spurred the human imagination for centuries. In all times and cultures, Mars has been the planet we have observed with the greatest curiosity and veneration. Source of fear and fable at the same time, territory of “the others” and longed-for destination for the human being of the future.
This exhibition approaches the red planet from multiple perspectives. From its study throughout history (through illustrations and objects from the sixteenth to the twentieth century) to the first space missions. From its impact on the popular imagination to its repercussion in high culture, becoming the protagonist of such notable works as Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles or The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Mars has been the scene of various peaceful and violent ways of encountering “the other” imagined by authors such as Brown, K. Dick or Clarke, and in all cases, fiction represented on Martian terrain such burning issues as colonialism, identity or the future of our civilization.