Over many years, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster has taken inspiration from the world of speculative fiction as a tool for imagining different futures, pasts and presents, and is particularly drawn to the notion of escape. She often creates immersive simulated worlds in galleries, museums and public spaces. At a time when a looming global climate crisis threatens life on Earth, her attention has turned to Mars. In his novel The Martian Chronicles (1950), Ray Bradbury records the conquest of Mars by Americans, who first land in 1999, soon subjugate the indigenous population, and then annihilate it.
Bradbury and Leigh Brackett’s Martian fiction inspired Gonzalez-Foerster’s Cosmorama (2018) diorama. This project – a collaboration with the artist Joi Bittle (1975, USA) – combines a painted background with sculpted elements of the Martian landscape such as rocks and sand, all carefully tinted. With the diorama enclosed in glass, viewers are invited to imagine themselves inside this setting.
In the Arsenale she opens up new temporal, spatial, and mental dimensions with Endodrome, a project that uses VR (virtual reality) to involve viewers in trance-like encounters where they can alter themselves and their surrounds.