Heiko Sievers «Stars and Orbits» 2005.
An exercise in Social Realism is one way to view the former Soviet Union's 'heroic' space program. Heros are not only the subject of this adaptive artist's work, they are subjected to an 'anti-heroic' scepticism and treatment embodied in brushstrokes that are neither naive nor parody of Soviet Social Realist tropes, but instead are self-questioning, investigating the parallel between art stars and cosmonaut, even astro-animal, stars. The artist and his 'stars' end up in one and the same orbit together - in the realm of the anti-hero.
First woman in space.
Laika, Soviet space dog.
Space programs, these subjects' gazes seem to say, are mere constructions of a dystopian world model based on the power of desire and fear to repress recognition of social conditions in a milieu by escaping into another, a spatial milieu of phantastical transformations, Earth's orbit and beyond being most certainly a current prime candidate, perhaps (like painting?) the last 'way out.'