Alien Landscape Series

Brian McCutcheon, Alien Landscape Series, 2011. Commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Courtesy of the Artist.

Astronaut Brian and Astronaut Angus reappear in their spacesuits in the photographic series Alien Landscape. Together the photos Cruise, Lounge, Play, Shop, and Gone (2011), take as their point of departure the historic NASA mobility studies through which, prior to departing for space missions, astronauts would practice on Earth in preparation for life in orbit. Alien Landscape bizarrely and amusingly reverses this scenario. Instead of showing real astronauts in simulated space situations, the photographs depict a father and son dressed as astronauts, going through the motions of mundane daily life in Indiana. They turn up in real settings such as a country roadside, a supermarket parking lot, a La-Z-Boy showroom, a school bus stop, and a front lawn. McCutcheon explains, “I’m taking a humorous look at what I’ve become. . . . It’s like, ‘Here I am, I’m an adult. I’m in this weird alien landscape I thought I’d never be part of and there is both a sense of beauty and loss to that realization.’”