Third Rock From the Sun

Exhibition and Film Screening

7 Dec 2011
31 Jan 2012

THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN, A Journey into Space
Opening: December 7, 7-10 pm

third-rock-invite-500px -

Space: the Final Frontier. An infinite supply of knowledge and resources await us, just outside our atmosphere. Since the beginning of time, humans have looked up at the sky wondering what exactly was up there. Five hundred years ago, Christopher Columbus sailed west across the Atlantic, using the stars to guide him. Today, modern explorers are charting a course that may eventually take humanity out among the stars themselves. It's not so easy to instill in the public the same brand of wonder and nationalist pride that the Space Race evoked from 1958 to 1975.

Although many no longer agree, space exploration is one of the most important factors that will blast the human race into the future. The year 2011 marks the 42th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the centennial of Futurism, and the quadricentennial of the Newtonian telescope. In the same year, it was announced that Virgin Galactic plans to build its first commercial space port in Abu Dhabi. What better time than now to look back on the past and toward the future of space travel, that ultimate flight of fancy of the human imagination?

First screening in the UAE!

Space Tourists

Directed By: Christian Frei
Cast: Anousheh Ansari, Jonas Bendiksen, Dumitru Popescu, Charles Simonyi

In the not so distant past, media outlets gathered excitedly every time the U.S. or Soviet Union launched a flight into space. Today, space flights only receive secondary coverage, leaving many to wonder what happened to the promise that space travel once held.

Christian Frei's dream-like documentary Space Tourists addresses this question as he transports us to the rarely-glimpsed world of Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome. With its crumbling edifices, abandoned housing projects, and timeworn artworks, the once-great Baikonur is only a shadow of its former self. With the high price tag of space flight, space tourism—priced at $20 million per journey—has become the only way for Russia to fund their space program.

Examining both the idealism and the reality behind space exploration today, Frei's documentary launches us into space with the first woman space tourist, an Iranian-American Texas millionaire, while on the ground a motley crew of "space junk" collectors make their living off what comes tumbling to earth.