Our Place in Space

Our place in Space is a travelling exhibition designed to get you thinking about where humanity fits in the grand scheme of our Universe. Astronomers and artists will present their own interpretations of where we are, where we belong, what our past might have been and what our future might look like, by using Hubble images, artworks and installations. Combining different perspectives in the exhibition by bringing together art and science gives us a unique, and more complete, view of the Universe we live in and the research, both in science and the arts, being done to understand it.

Perception

Since the start of civilisation humans have tried to understand the Universe and their place in it — both as a species and as individuals. This quest has led to several shifts in our perception of our place in space, shifts often generated by new astronomical discoveries.

Astronomers have placed the Earth at the centre of the Universe, and then proven that it is not. They have theorised that the Milky Way is all there is, and then discovered that we live in just one galaxy among billions. And they have demonstrated the ever changing nature of our environment, a Universe as inconstant as our attempts to define it.

As our ability to observe the Universe improves and we gain another perception on our environment, both near and far, we edge closer to our very human desire to understand our place in space.

Context

In 2015 we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, one of the most ambitious and successful space astronomy missions ever flown. The data, science and images from Hubble — a hugely successful collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) — have helped us to see further and have shifted our perspective. They have inspired astronomers, artists and public alike to ask, and endeavour to answer, the deep existential questions that we all share: Where do we come from? Where are we going? Are we alone?

Not only has Hubble transformed our knowledge of the Universe but for more than two decades it it has greatly impacted culture, society and art. Hubble has broadened the reach of astronomical research, a science that for years was reserved for a privileged few, and made it a resource available to all. It has brought the Universe into our homes, continues to inspire generations of students, and has become a presence that belongs to everyone. Hubble is and will continue to be the “people’s telescope”.

Invitation

Visit Our Place in Space and embark on a journey that takes you from the exhibition space to the borders of the observable Universe. The exhibition reveals how we have expanded our travel horizons to break away from the boundaries imposed by our planet’s atmosphere and explore the furthest reaches of time and space with Hubble and its counterparts.

Below are the various stops the exhibition will make, so you can find the location nearest to you. Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge at all locations! If you are an institution within Europe interested in hosting the exhibition, please get in contact with us.

Organisers

Our Place in Space is a project coordinated by ESA/Hubble, in partnership with the Space Telescope Science Institute. The exhibition is curated by Antonella Nota and Anna Caterina Bellati. The exhibition executive committee consists of Antonella Nota (ESA/STScI; chair), Anna Caterina Bellati (Bellati Edrs.), Ken Carpenter (NASA), Lars Lindberg Christensen (ESO), Mathias Jäger (ESA/Hubble), Carol Christian (STScI), Roger Davies (Oxford, UK) and Hussein Jirdeh (STScI).

Exhibition locations

Venice, Italy

Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti in Venice
Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti in Venice. Credit: ESA & Bob Fosbury

The exhibition had its opening in Venice, Italy. Here it was shown from 1 February to 17 April 2017 in the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, on the banks of the Grand Canal. It is open to the public seven days a week, from 10 am to 6 pm. Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge.

Several selected Italian artists presented their impressions of Our Place in Space in the exhibition:

Chiavenna, Italy

Art installation of Our Place in Space in Chiavenna
Art installation of Our Place in Space in Chiavenna. Credit: ESA/Hubble, M. Jäger

The exhibition was on display in the medieval town of Chiavenna, Italy, from 13 May to 20 August 2017 at the Convento dei Cappuccini, Piazza Bertacchi. The exhibition was open 6 days per week, from Tuesday to Sunday. The opening hours were 10:30 to 12:30 in the morning and 15:00 to 18:00 in the afternoon. The entrance to the exhibition was free.

Several selected Italian artists presented their impressions of Our Place in Space in the exhibition:

Garching, Germany

From 17 May 2018 to 3 September 2018 the exhibition was on display in the new ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre, just north of Munich, Germany. It was shown in addition to the permanent exhibition The Living Universe and the state-of-the-art planetarium. The location was chosen to not only give German citizens the chance to visit the exhibition, but also to honour the longstanding and fruitful cooperation between the European Space Agency and the European Southern Observatory. Check the ESO Supernova website for exact opening hours. Entrance to the whole visitor centre is free of charge.

Vienna, Austria

Art installation of Our Place in Space in Vienna
Art installation of Our Place in Space in Vienna. Credit: NHM Wien, Kurt Kracher

The exhibition is currently on display in the capital of Austria, Vienna, in the Museum of Natural History. The exhibition was launched on 18 June 2018 and will be on display till 4 November 2018. The Austrian edition of Our Place in Space is coordinated by the Natural History Museum Vienna, the GLOBART Think Tank, the University for Applied Arts Vienna and ESA/Hubble, in partnership with the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Several selected Austrian artists present their impressions of Our Place in Space in the exhibition:

 

Bogota, Colombia

From 14 November 2018 to 20 December 2018 the exhibition is on display in the gallery of the Atlantis Plaza in the city of Botoga, Colombia. The exhibition features Ulrike Kuchner, austrian astrophysicist and visual artist, along with acclaimed Colombian artists Valentino Cortázar, Lina Sinisterra, Danilo Rojas, Alejandro Ortiz, Matías Gutiérrez and Daniela Brill Estrada, and a select group of outstanding arts students of Los Alcaparros who will present their interpretations of the extraordinary images we received from Hubble telescope over the last decades. Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge.

 

Contact

Mathias Jäger
ESA/Hubble, Public Information Officer
Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 176 62397500
Email: mjaeger@partner.eso.org

Antonella Nota
ESA HST Project Scientist, STScI
Email: nota@stsci.edu

Accelerated by CDN77