Jane and Louise Wilson «Star City» 2000.
In Star City, 2000, the Wilsons venture into another chapter of the Cold War: the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States. Though referenced obliquely, this history is unmistakably present in the piece, which was filmed at a cosmonaut training facility outside of Moscow. We see space capsules, derelict launchpads, control rooms, and rows of neatly stacked space suits and helmets, all accompanied by a sound track of clanging machinery, roaring fans, and a constant ambient drone.
Projected onto four screens, the scenes shift subtly in pace and orientation, from close-up to distant shots and from vertical to horizontal. Such contrasts are typical in the Wilsons' formal repertoire. The underlying narrative is a tale of utopian idealism, science, and Communism gone awry, yielding only unfulfilled expectations and a program that languishes in economic disarray. Longer text at spacearts.info .
Star City, 2000
Four-channel video installation with sound, 00:08:36.
Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center says: «At Star City, we're living in a rural area, on a small, forested military base, instead of on the edge of a big city like Houston,» says Hadfield. «Most people walk or bicycle to work every day, yet just an hour away is Moscow, a 1,000-year-old city of nine million delightful people. There may be a McDonald's sitting right beside a 600-year-old building. It's a slower pace of life that is very enjoyable.»