Jane and Louise Wilson «Proton Unit Energy Blizzard» 2001.
«In Victor Pelevin's 1993 novel Omon Ra, a Russian boy who dreams of becoming a cosmonaut and flying to the moon gets his wish: He is accepted into the space program and even chosen to represent the Soviet Union in the space race against the United States. But what awaits young Omon isn't glory. Instead, he finds himself surrounded by grotesques, power-hungry flight officers, aged space dogs, and cadets whose legs have been amputated to accommodate tiny cockpits. Eventually Omon learns the truth about his mission, that he is to pilot an officially unmanned lunar vehicle to the moon then shoot himself in the head when his job is completed.» ~ Martha Schwendener, Art Forum.
Proton, Unit, Energy, Blizzard, 2001
installation stills, Kunstwerk Berlin.
The installation Proton, Unity, Energy, Blizzard is a pure exploration of architecture. Proton, Unity, Energy, Blizzard, shows the Cosmodrome of Baikonur in the south of Kazakstan. It was from Baikonur that in 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first man to be launched into space. The title of the work refers to the three launch sites that appear in the film. Proton, a military site, Unity (Soyuz), the site for manned missions to space, and Energy (Energia), which was designed to carry the Russian space shuttle Blizzard (Buran). The opening shots show the launch site of Energy and Blizzard, now abandoned for over ten years. The film then changes to the operational Proton launch site. The sequence, which includes interior shots of the assembly factory, culminates in the transport of a Proton rocket to the launch site at dawn. After a series of pictures from Korkytu-ata, a Muslim memorial site of comparative architectural significance near Baikonur, the film returns to the launch sites of Unity, which remains almost unchanged since the times of Gagarin, and Proton, with its vast arms reaching out into the desert. In the final sequence, with the Energia/Buran site in the distance and camels grazing in the foreground, it seems as if the desert is reclaiming its land.