This Is Mars: A Masterpiece of Photo Book Editing by Xavier Barral

ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
Oct 8, 2013 3:40PM
This Is Mars, published by Aperture and photo edited by Xavier Barral, is without a doubt one of the most exquisite new photography books of this year, as well as one of the most fascinating collections of space photographs, ever. Created by the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) super camera at the University of Arizona since 2006, these images "challenge our very understanding" of the Red Planet, according to Barral, who writes, "I have approached and scrutinized the lava plains of the North, the ergs of the dunes, the craters covered with volcanic dust, the abyssal canyons, and the collapsed poles; and, as a stroller-in-place among the tens of thousands of images, I have chosen to maintain a uniform vantage point: each photograph covers six kilometers (3.7 miles) in breadth. At the end of this voyage, I have gathered here the most endemic landscapes. They send us back to Earth, to the genesis of geological forms, and, at the same time, they upend our reference points: dunes that are made of black sand, ice that sublimates. According to Victor Hugo, a landscape is a kind of writing, at the origin of the alphabet as well as of images: every letter was at first a sign, and each sign was at first an image. These places and reliefs can be read as a series of hieroglyphs that take us back to our origins." Featured photograph shows dunes on the floor of an impact crater.
ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
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