sci17003 — Announcement

Our Place in Space — Seen by press and visitors

18 May 2017

Even before its launch, the press began to report on the new Hubble travelling exhibition Our Place in Space. Mainly Italian national and regional media covered the launch of the exhibition in Venice, Italy, but international media picked up the new exhibition as well.

Digital Trends announced it as an exhibition “quite literally out of this world.” Italy24 described the exhibition and the idea behind Our Place in Space in a few more elegant words: “What could two of the most fascinating sciences, astronomy and art, have in common? At first sight they seem different: on one hand there are logic and mathematics, on the other hand creativity and irrationality. Two worlds which seem distant, of course, while at the same time the duty of artists is to reflect their era, and this is the era of the space exploration. So it’s time to review this way of thinking.” And Research Italy captured its essence in a single sentence: “A breathtaking journey into the depths of the cosmos through the Hubble Space Telescope’s images, alongside Hubble-inspired works by contemporary Italian artists.”

After the official opening, visitors had the chance to write down their impression on the exhibition they just visited:

“A most interesting and inspiring exhibition! The setting is amazing! What a privilege.”
— Sonja & Bob, UK

“This exhibition is marvellous! The space is vast and mysterious. We often get a glimpse of it via the films. Thanks to your efforts. We can be immersed in such unbelievable beauty of space. Also thanks to your originality. We realise the endless possibilities of bridging art and with the space. Thanks!”
— Yang, China

“What an incredible exhibition! The staff were extremely knowledgable and took great care to make sure we saw everything. We loved the combination of photography, art and music.”
— Jen & Anna, England

“So beautiful. Such a gift to sit at the feet of the Universe and travel, travel through its beauty. Thank you all - engineers, astronomers, astronauts, artists, institute, volunteers — for all your work. You have made me very happy. To know we belong — we live — in this beautiful eternal night full of the dusting stars is truly heaven. I cannot thank you enough!”
— William, Canada

The exhibition was also visited by Tania Johnston, coordinator of the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre, which will host the exhibition from spring 2018:

In February I had the pleasure of visiting a beautiful example of a project that combines science and art. The elegant Palazzo Franchetti, of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, displayed Our Place in Space — a breathtaking combination of images taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope during its 27 years of activity, together with works of art created by contemporary Italian artists.

Planetary spheres encrusted with bright mosaics of Murano glass are coupled with stunning images of the planets in our own Solar System, and alabaster sculptures representing nebulae and galaxies echo iconic images of the Whirlpool Galaxy. In one room, visitors can imagine themselves as astronauts, with an intergalactic spaceship made from wood, toys and plastic alongside a wall-mounted mixed media polyptych. These works share the stage with impressive solar panels from Hubble itself and a gigantic image of an astronaut floating in space. I found it fascinating to see how each artist had been inspired by Hubble’s work and where that inspiration had taken them.

The combination of art and science, alongside inspirational quotes from ancient philosophers and scientists, takes visitors on a journey through space and time, provoking a sense of wonder around fundamental questions such as “Where do we come from?”, “What is our place in space?” and “Are we alone?” — all questions which the Hubble Space Telescope continues to seek answers to.

Our Place in Space reopened in Chiavenna, Italy, on Saturday 13 May 2017. The exhibition will be open 6 days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday. The opening hours are 10:30 to 12:30 in the morning and 15:00 to 18:00 in the afternoon. Entrance to the exhibition is free. The exhibition is sponsored and organised by the European Space Agency in collaboration with NASA. From Chiavenna, it will travel to other European venues, including our new ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre. At every location the exhibition will be slightly different, taking account of the different style of each venue. I very much look forward to displaying Our Place in Space in the ESO Supernova and feel lucky to have the opportunity to host such a stimulating exhibition when we open our doors to the public in 2018.


Antonella Nota
ESA HST Project Scientist, STScI

Tania Johnston
ESO Supernova Coordinator

About the Announcement



Our place in space logo (dark)
Our place in space logo (dark)

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