Martians on Venus tells the story of an interplanetary encounter between the feminine civilisation of the Venusians and the masculine Martians. In the central metaphor of this photo novella, Andrea sought to provide a psychological subtext to his candid shots through the conventions of sci-fi and erotica.
The Martians arrive on Venus conscious of their own superiority. But it’s a superiority that is quickly subverted by the erotic moment. In his portraits, insecurity, bewilderment, and stone-faced annoyance, register on the faces of the Martians as they’re reduced to passive and ingenuous observers.
It is a momentary overthrow of the complacency of male entitlement. The male defeat captured here on analogue reflects the sub-surface complexes in every man.
Andrea’s portraits highlight the battle between the id and the conscious mind. “I see myself as someone who is guilty” Andrea confesses, “when we find ourselves in extreme situations, we stop thinking and we act on instinct – that’s our subconscious taking control of our actions”. On Venus, however, the Martians’ darkest impulses are checked. This is, after all, the Venusian home planet, and the threat of a sexuality that can’t be owned by force or by entitlement is enough to send the Martians back to their world emasculated.