In Concrete Mirrors, French photographer David de Beyter has created a three-part series that explores the iconographic visuals of the Cold War Space Race.
Concrete Mirrors deals with the iconography of space conquest during the 60s, back to a climate of suspicion and paranoia linked to the cold war. Presented as a fake photograph-documentary, this project puts together three corpus of images of different nature and status, combining types of reality, these are documents, and virtuality, those are places.
With a form of historiography, the first chapter of this work shows a selection of utopian architectures from the 60s, scientific facilities and landscapes known for their Martian or Lunar-like landscapes. These architectures are not chosen for the formal appeal they can wear, but because they embody the obsolescence of a thought, the thought of utopia as a territory of thought and creation. From a documentation full of drawings and objects related to the prospective architecture of the 70s, the second chapter of this research aims, with a scattered use of 3D, to give a form of existence to unrealized projects that embody that mythology and to interpret them by means of a photographic staging. The third chapter explores a scientific and photographic documentation of that time, such as the photogrammetry or experiences led by NASA, whose specific tools helped defining the imagery of this conquest and developing the fantasy around it. This archeology thus proceeds to a methodology revealing a corpus where every image is inter-connected.
This romantic exploration establishes an imaginary territory throughout the documentation of a test area where formal anachronisms stress the gap between prospective vision and fallen mythology.