Alexandra Exter’s works draw on Constructivism, Cubism, and Futurism interchangeably, offering a perfect fusion based on their shared fascination with technology. After studying in Kiev and travelling between Moscow, Paris, and Rome, Exter began painting geometric figures that broke with the monumental, static quality favoured in academic painting. In the artist’s extensive work as a stage designer starting in the 1920s, each costume, object, or detail is conceived in perfect continuity with the set, transporting the story into fanciful, utopian dreamworlds. In 1924, Exter worked on the first big-budget Soviet sci-fi movie Aelita. The silent picture tells the story of a Russian engineer who travels to a dystopian Mars and falls in love with its queen, rebelling against her when he realises she is a tyrant. Exter created a setting that aesthetically links the alien and industrial worlds: the Martians are distinguished from humans by eccentric accessories made from celluloid, acrylic glass, and lightweight materials, which in the sketches look like strange metal prostheses buttressing the body and turning it into a mechanical hybrid; Aelita sports a crown of thin spoking rods and a long petroleum-green dress that swirls dizzyingly around her half-naked body. She is a stern, striking amazon that Exter imbues with power and danger by dressing her in – or making her resemble – technology.