An inquiry into the representative patterns and figurative models which profoundly influence our attitudes toward the scientific and the outer space.

The story of the dreams and the unbuilt spaceships for flights to Mars should be recorded so that in the future people can examine past ideas of space travel just as we can examine the unconsummated ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci by reading his notebooks. Years from now people should be able to decide for themselves whether they want o go to Mars or if they prefer to stay earthbound. But let us not destroy the dream, simply because we do not wish to pursue it ourselves. (Edward Ezell, 1979)

The project The Universe Makers is the result of Salvo’s research on space imagery, and is presented as an inquiry into the representative patterns and figurative models which profoundly influence our attitudes toward the scientific and the outer space. Through this body of work, Salvo explores the role technology, medias and science fiction have had in producing evidences that still address our collective imagery towards belief, conspiracy and constructed scenarios. The future of civilization is certainly a matter of concern for humanity: from the appearance on TV of the First Man on the Moon in 1969 to the recent mission of Mars ONE promising to inaugurate a permanent human settlement on Mars, the possibility of life beyond Earth has established itself concretely in our minds.

Documents and visual records collected over the years from Institutions and Research Centres have had a fundamental role in providing us with a vivid depictions of the remote universe and realistic proof of space explorations’ feasibility. On the other hands, science fiction has massively contributed to constructing our fantasy of an outward infinite galaxy, waiting for us to be explored, studied and colonized, suggesting worlds in between the real and the surreal.

Using these assumptions as a starting point, Salvo has collected documents, and images and questioned their informative role, as well as, beginning a process of intervention into these records with the aim of challenging their authenticity.

“I have tried to establish a parallel dialogue between ultimate proofs and fake results transforming factual evidences into unrealistic scenarios. The project conceived as an installation combines text, sculptured objects and archival images, focusing on offering a reflection on the ambiguity of the photographic document and discussing its potential of creating objective evidences.”

Bianca Salvo (*1986) is an Italian artist currently living and working in Milan. Her practice combines the use of digital photographic archives with online public sources, written documents, books, found objects, forming a series of interventions and alterations of these records.

See more of Salvo's work on her website.