This blog keeps you updated on the ongoing "outer space" series
07 September, 2021
Exhibition at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
No other substance has shaped societies in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as much as petroleum. Airplanes, tanks, and spacecraft, motorways, shopping malls and suburban settlements, nylon stockings, mountains of plastic, and vinyl – key materials and technologies, lifestyles and visions of our time owe their existence to the energy density and transformability of oil. Now, however, the dusk of the “petrol age” is looming, whereby neither can its end be precisely dated, nor its consequences adequately assessed. The exhibition Oil. Beauty and Horror in the Petrol Age therefore takes a speculative, poetic look back at the presence of the modern age of petroleum, which has lasted for roughly one hundred years. From the distance of a hypothetical future, we ask what was typical of our time, what was great and beautiful, what was ugly and terrible, and how all this is reflected in art and culture.
Michael participates with his iconic artwork "orbital ascent" in the exhibition, which is curated by Andreas Beitin, Alexander Klose and Benjamin Steininger
The new publication "outer space v2" presents the latest artworks from Michael Najjar's internationally highly acclaimed "outer space" series. The book not only includes spectacular artworks from the years 2015 – 2021, but also extensive background information on the genesis of the artworks and brilliant essays written by novelists, art historians, and leading figures shaping humanity's future in space: Dietmar Dath, Michael Ostheimer, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Hans Koenigsmann, Marco Fuchs, Stéphane Israël, Sethu Vijaykumar, Frank White, Ma Yansong, and Manfred Wittenstein.
Michael Najjar's "outer space" work series deals with the latest developments in space exploration and the way they will shape our future life on Earth, in Earth’s near orbit and on other planets. We are facing the transition from the current space exploration approach, towards an innovative concept of space industrialization. The beginning of the civilian space development, civilization expansion into outer space, industrialization of the geo-lunar space, developing civil passengers transportation and accommodation in space will have a strong impact on humanity´s future.
The cultural dimension represented by this transition process towards a larger human presence in space is very much at the center of Najjar's work. His ongoing “outer space” series started in 2011 and currently comprises over 60 photographic artworks and 5 video works. The artworks were on view in numerous museums, biennials, and galleries around the world in the past years.
"MICHAEL NAJJAR – outer space v2"
Design Michael Najjar
23,5 × 30 cm
284 pages, approx. 200 color images
€ 46 (D) / £ 42 / $ 60
Order: please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
12 July, 2021
Historic Spaceflight of VSS Unity
After many years of research, engineering and testing, Virgin Galactic sucessfully performed its first fully crewed spaceflight on Sunday, 11 July. VSS Unity, one of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo vehicles, blasted off into space with 2 pilots and 4 crew members, including the company's founder Richard Branson. The historic "Unity 22" flight marked the beginning of a new era in civilian spaceflight.
After climbing to 50,000 feet or 15 kilometres above Earth, VSS Unity was dropped by the carrier air plane VSS Eve. It fired its rocket engine and accelerated to faster than three times the speed of sound in a climb to the edge of space. VSS Unity then performed a slow backflip in microgravity, when the Virgin Galactic crew was weightless and floated around the spacecraft cabin. The spacecraft reached an altitude of 86.1 kilometers (53.5 miles, or about 282,000 feet). The vehicle then returned through the atmosphere in a glide, to land back at the runway of Spaceport America where it took off from earlier.
In addition to Branson, the crew was made up of mission specialists Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor, Virgin Galactic lead operations engineer Colin Bennett, and Sirisha Bandla, the vice president of government affairs and research operations at the company. VSS Unity was piloted by Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci.
Michael joined the Virgin Galactic team in 2012 signing up for a spaceflight to become the first contemporary artist to travel in space. This decision also marked the beginning of his internationally highly acclaimed "outer space" series which now includes over 65 photographic and time based artworks. Almost 10 years later now, the first civilian spaceflight launched from the futuristic spaceport located in the desert of New Mexico. If all goes well, as one of Virgin Galactic's Pioneer Astronauts, Michael will embark on his own spaceflight in 2022.
22 June, 2021
"Overview Effect" exhibition at Museum for Contemporary Art, Belgrade
The Museum Of Contemporary Art Belgrade (MOCAB) proudly presents the exhibition OVERVIEW EFFECT. The term overview effect was coined by Frank White in the book with the same title in 1987 to describe the cognitive shift reported by a number of astronauts having looked back from space to their home planet. Do we need such a distant point of view on our “Spaceship Earth” - to use Buckminster Fuller’s metaphor - to realize that this “spaceship” is slowly running out of “fuel” and that the crew is in need for “oxygen”? Michael Najjar participates at the exhibition with 3 large scale artworks from his internationally acclained "outer space" series.
The exhibition seeks to explore the complexity of the ecological problematics and the inseparable links between them. The concept focuses on topics such as corporate imperialism, indigenous sovereignty, gender, different kinds of extractivisms and the importance of decolonising not just history but also our concept of nature in order to create a new mindset facing the challenges of a post anthropocentric world. Going beyond the binary relations of utopias and dystopias, the project may help visualize the multiplicity of possible scenarios, as art’s capacity to produce new knowledge, alternatives and experience of the world might envision that change of the paradigm. This change will only be possible through a posthuman point of view where transdisciplinarity, multispecies coexistence and post-anthropocentrism will lead the way for the new post fossil capitalism era.
BANK/Mabsociety Gallery Shanghai proudly presents Michael Najjar's first solo exhibition in Beijing. The exhibition is part of the official program of the Gallery Weekend Beijing 2021 and features several photographic and time based artworks from the artist's internationally acclaimed series "outer space". While celebrating some of the best art, artists and institutions that Beijing has to offer, this year also sees high class new participants from outside the capital, from places across China as well as from around the world – like Paris, London, and New York. Altogether, 37 commercial galleries, non-profit art spaces, and institutions will exhibit works at seven sites around the Chinese capital.
National Air and Space Museum aquires 3 artworks for permanent collection
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Whasington D.C. has acquired 3 artworks from Michael Najjar´s highly acclaimed "outer space“ series for its permanent collection. The selected artworks are "liquid gravity" (2013), "orbital debris_2020" (2013) and "kinetic drift" (2014).
"Michael Najjar’s photographs from the "outer space" series are a superb acquisition bringing an innovative interpretation of the contemporary space traveler to the museums collection. His photographs offer an interplay of reality and conceptualization, conjuring futuristic spaceflight scenes reminiscent in science fiction and space art. More so, this photography gives authentic glimpses of the Russian cosmonaut training facilities at Star City as art, and Najjar himself in the roles of artist and astronaut/cosmonaut."
Carolyn Russo, Curator of Art, National Air and Space Museum
"liquid gravity" (2013)
The National Air and Space Museum's art collection comprises over 8,000 works of art on the subject of human flight. The museum was established in 1946 in Washington D. C. and opened its main building at the famous National Mall in 1976. It is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics. With more than 7 million visitors per year it is the most visited museum in the United States.
The museum's collection is best known for its unique collection of rare and historically significant aircraft and spacecraft such as the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia,
the Friendship 7 capsule which was flown by John Glenn, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the Bell X-1 which broke the sound barrier, the model of the starship Enterprise from the Star Trek TV series and the Wright brothers' Wright Flyer airplane. The collection includes thousands of additional artifacts—including engines, rockets, uniforms, spacesuits, balloons, artwork, documents, manuscripts, and photographs—document the richness of the history of flight.
Michael's work will be on permanent display as soon as the renovation of the new art gallery is finished.
New publication "Space is the Place- Current Reflections on Art and Architecture"
The publication "Space is the Place - Current Reflections on Art and Architecture" looks at contemporary artistic practices that turn spaces into places. Space and place are explored as topics and mediums of playful investigation and serious reflection. Together with artists, designers, architects, curators, historians, theoreticians and philosophers,
it questions the experience, imagination and design of spaces and places in theory and practice. The colourful collection of projects, performances, interviews and essays explores these notions within contemporary art and culture in all its complex and diverging, contemporary exposures. The book is published on the occasion of the exhibition cycle Space is the Place curated by Lukas Feireiss at BNKR - current reflections on art and architecture, Munich between September 2018 and July 2019.
The book features several artworks by Michael Najjar along with an interview.
Contributors: Franz Xaver Baier, Julius von Bismarck, Nuotama Bodomo, Beatriz Colomina, Olafur Eliasson, Andrea Fraser, Jeewi Lee, Bruce Nauman, Michael Najjar,
Tom Sachs, Michael Sailstorfer and many more.
Lukas Feireiss works as a curator, writer and art director in the international mediation of contemporary cultural reflexivity beyond disciplinary boundaries.
with numerous black-white and colour illustrations, perfect bound softcover
Leipzig July, 2020
Width: 16.5 cm
Length: 24 cm
Editor: Lukas Feireiss
Designer: Floyd E. Schulze, WTHM – Büro für Gestaltung
"outer space | portfolio box 2020" is now available
Studio Michael Najjar is delighted to announce the release of the brand new exclusive "outer space | portfolio box“. The box assembles 12 selected key artworks from Michael Najjar´s highly acclaimed „outer space“ series. The series deals with the latest develop-
ments in space exploration and the way they will shape our future life on Earth, in Earth’s near orbit and on other planets. The ongoing series started in 2011 and currently comprises over 60 artworks. Works from the series have been exhibited internationally in numerous museums, biennials and galleries in the past years.
The box is finest handcraft, made of aluminium, covered with embossed silver leather.
All photographs are carefully printed on high quality archival fine art paper. Prints can be framed, hang separately or all together.
Portfolio content: 12 archival pigment prints on fine art paper
Sheet size: 42 x 60 cm (16,5 x 23,6 in)
Image size: 45 x 29,2 cm (17,5 x 11,5 in)
Edition of 30
Price on request
The following photographs are included on the box:
07 October, 2020
"New Classics of Mountains and Seas" Exhibition at Zhejiang Museum, China
The exhibition "The New Classic of Mountains and Seas" focuses on the basic characteristics and cultural backgrounds of ancient Chinese mythological thinking.
The exhibition concept is based on the famous Chinese text „The Classic of Mountains and Seas“ (third century B.C. to second century A.D.) which brings together a treasure trove of rare data and colorful fiction about the mythical figures, rituals, medicine, natural history, and ethnic peoples of the ancient world. The exhibition combines multiple possibilities of new interpretations of the classical mythological text through multi-sensory experiences such as painting, photography, video projections and installations.
Several artworks from Michael Najjar's acclaimed "outer space" series are featured in the exhibition including a 15 meters wide projection of the video "orbital cascade_57 - 46“.
Gallerie d’Italia - Palazzo Leoni Montanari in Vicenza presents the exhibition „FUTURE - Art and society from the sixties to tomorrow“. Each generation has its own idea of the future, however the times we are living in at the moment seem to be much more uncertain than 60 years ago. The 1960s, in fact, marked the decade of economic boom, population growth, optimism and consumerism, reflected in the pop era and the explosion of the youth cult. Four decades later we found ourselves living in the turn of a century and a millennium. We looked forward to the first day of 2000 with great expectations and some fear. Now, twenty years later, what has happened? Which role plays art and the artists in the light of the dramatic transformation our society is going through?
The exhibition concept refers on one hand to the idea of progress, technology, innovation; on the other hand to the desire and the need for change and the idea of a better tomorrow. The exhibition starts from the 1960s - with an anticipation dedicated to Futurism movement and goes up to the present time, with an open ending. More than one hundred works by Italian and international artists, from the Intesa Sanpaolo collection and from several private collections, accompanied by a series of photographic images from the Publifoto Archive reflect ideas of the future which humanity has envisioned over the past sixty years.
Curated by Luca Beatrice and Walter Guadagnini
On display are among others works by Boccioni, Depero, Fontana, Christo, Boetti, Najjar, Hirst, Vasarely, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Rotella, Schifano.