Ferox - The Forgotten Archive, 1976–2010
di Nicolas Polli
Upon discovering a group of meteorites in the Swiss Alps in the 1940s, scientists immediately launched an extensive research project to determine the origins of the mysterious rubble. After some preliminary experimentation, they revealed that the material travelled to Earth from Ferox, an undiscovered third moon circulating the planet Mars. With funding from the IEMS, the scientists sent the first Rovers to Ferox, conducting critical experiments and collating data on the meteorites’ peculiar abilities. These studies went on for many years, until research was brought to a sudden halt due to unfortunate budget cuts.
While this block in funding stagnated further developments and understanding of Ferox, a massive collection of data, images and text was meticulously archived for decades. In order to spread awareness about Mars’ third moon, artist Nicolas Polli created an open source website for anyone to access the materials, which were also recently published in an extensive book of research. The story of Ferox is incredibly compelling and important for the history of space research.
Discovering the images, the artist challenge the boundaries of the photographic medium in relation to the spread of information by any media. What are we looking at? Did you hear already about IEMS? Which element do you look in space exploration? What does an image look real? What do we trust?
Nicolas Polli was born in Brusino Arsizio (Switzerland) in 1989. He studied visual communication at SUPSI and Art Direction at ECAL (Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne). In 2012 he founded the magazine YET with Salvatore Vitale, an internationally recognized photography magazine. In 2016 he won the HES-SO award for his project Ferox the Forgotten Archives, the same project is selected for more awards such as Images Book Award, Unseen Book Award, Luma Foundation Book Award and Aperture First Book Award. In 2016 he was selected for the "Prix de la relève photographique" by Pro Helvetia and in 2018 he won the Swiss Design Awards. With the project Ferox the Forgotten Archives, Nicolas’s exhibited in different spaces between Milan, Turin, Paris, Bienne, Rouen, Winterthur, etc
He is currently based in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he lives and works as an independent photographer and graphic designer as well as an assisting teacher at the Master in Photography at ECAL. Particularly interested in the combination of photography and publishing, Nicolas mainly works in the field of photo book, founding his publishing house Ciao Press in 2018.