"At last we can see one of the most important bodies of work in the history of colour photography. Better late than never." Martin Parr
Peter Mitchell’s groundbreaking show was first presented at the Impressions Gallery of Photography York in November 1979, and more recently at Arles. Now, only 38 years overdue, it has been published as a book for the first time.
In the mid-seventies, the Viking Landers were the first to land on planet Mars. Though the alien landscape was magnificent, there were no canals or skeletons or wind-blown ruined dwellings. Today, not a single trace remains of Viking Landers 3 and 4.
But myth (and conspiracy theories) have it that an alien survey was commissioned of planet Earth.
Peter Mitchell’s A New Refutation of the Viking 4 Space Mission features photos and portraits, taken in Leeds in the 1970s. The pictures show the traditional urban landscape presented on a background of space charts, the concept being that an alien has landed from Mars and is wandering around Leeds with a degree of surprise and puzzlement.
In the Earthly vernacular these photographs are of Nowheresville. Yet, for some people, they are the centre of the universe. Usually they call it Home.