Jane and Louise Wilson «Star City» 2000.

submitted on Fri, 2006-03-17 17:38. | | |

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.

Jane and Louise Wilson, Star City, 2000
Jane and Louise Wilson, Star City, 2000

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 .

Jane and Louise Wilson, Star City, 2000
Jane and Louise Wilson, Star City, 2000
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.»

sources: guggenheimcollection.org, spacearts.info, liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov