Meanwhile, science fact – the stuff we’re actually finding, or trying to find, out there – becomes ever more extraordinary. One day the two worlds will surely come together, in one cataclysmic explosion fusing nonsense with truth. But until then, we can keep ourselves entertained with what we know about space and its fictions – and, in fact, that is an awful lot of fascinating material.
The Barbican has wised up to the problems of staging a science fiction artefacts show, and opted to present a truly marvellous range of space-related offerings of all kinds, wisely under the heading of a ‘festival-style exhibition’. What this means is that, throughout this summer, all manner of space-science material will be on display – a fantastic diversion from the usual orbit of summer shows in London.
Thus, recent artworks by creative luminaries such as Conrad Shawcross, Isaac Julien and Larissa Sensor will be displayed alongside vintage relics and archive material. There is a range of exhibits from Jules Verne manuscripts, models and props from the likes of Star Trek, Star Wars, Alien and District 9 through to Soviet-era postcards and artworks from the extraordinary decades in which the communists led, or seemed to lead, the race into space. Even the short-lived Zambian space programme (yes, really) gets a look in. Add to all this dozens of film and TV clips, space related pulp fiction and magazine clippings, and it begins to feel like something of a summer must-do.
The exhibition is not organised chronologically or thematically, so go with the flow, but remember to look up as numerous creatures and model airships are suspended from the ceiling.
Pack up the kids and journey Into the Unknown this summer. The exhibition runs until the end of the mission, at the start of September.
|What||Into the Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction, Barbican|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
03 Jun 17 – 01 Sep 17, Times vary. Check online.
|Website||Book your tickets here|