This blog keeps you updated on the ongoing "outer space" series
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.
"Space Works" exhibition at Tampere Art Museum, Finland
The "Space Works" exhibition brings together a selection of contemporary artworks that explore the hopes and possibilities as well as threats and doubts we project onto the infinite universe that lies beyond our home planet. From utopias to dystopias – and the realities in between – the artists’s approaches are in turn fictional and humorous, using the visual languages of the sublime and mundane. Included in the exhibition are artworks that engage with the nostalgia of the Space Age, offer geopolitical and intersectional critiques of space exploration or play satirically with the languages of science and propaganda. From science fiction to fact, some artists celebrate technology, others investigate questions of ecology, surveillance, the military and government secrecy. Finally, artists draw the viewer to the ineffable beauty of space or point to the ideological construction of a cosmic aesthetic. The Space Works is part of the international photo festival Backlight2020.
Produced by Backlight 2020, the Hasselblad Center of Sweden and the
Tampere Art Museum.
Curated by Melanie Vandenbrouck, Sara Walker, Louise Wolthers,
Hannu Vanhanen and Maija Tammi.
Michael Najjar participates with several artworks from his internationally acclaimed
"outer space" series. His artwork "liquid gravity" became the key visual for the exhibition.
Artists featured in the exhibition:
Monica Alcazar-Duarte (UK-Mexico), Helena Blomqvist (Sweden), Caroline Corbasson (France), Nanna Debois Buhl (Denmark), Joan Fontcuberta (Spain), Johannes Heldén (Sweden), Anna Hoetjes (Netherlands), Sasha Huber (Switzerland-Finland), Michael Najjar (Germany), Agnes Meyer-Brandis (Germany), Bianca Salvo (Italy), Johan Österholm (Sweden)
"CIVILIZATION" at Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand
After having been shut down in March, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand is now open again its museum doors unveiling the long awaited exhibition Civilisation.Photography.Now
Due to the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic on our global civilization this exhibition seems to be more important and up to date than ever. We all share a general sense of what "civilization" means: a highly advanced human society (above clan, tribe, nation, even empire); city-centered, with technological prowess and mastery of the environment; kept more or less in decent social order; with highly developed arts and sciences; and dealing intelligently with threats as they arrive. As we all are doing now, with a natural one. With the arrival of Covid-19, we are all seeing first-hand what a rupture can do to our systems, our processes, our overall way of life. Now we are all acutely more aware of where our food comes from, where our medical supplies originate, and who our governmental representatives are – even on the lowest levels – because they hold the lives of our communities in their hands. Our civilisation has always had its crises, but they have been essentially local, regional or national. Even the 20th-century’s two World Wars did not affect every part of the world simultaneously to the same degree. This crisis has.
Civilisation.Photography.Now is an international photography exhibition of monumental scale, featuring the work of over hundred contemporary photographers from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe with over 200 original photographs being exhibited. The exhibition looks at the phenomenal complexity of life in the twenty-first century.
Michael Najjar participates in this exhibition with 3 large scale artworks from his acclaimed "outer space" series.
Curated by William Ewing and Holly Roussell
Civilisation.Photography.Now is co-produced by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis and Lausanne. Ron Brownson is the co-ordinating curator for Auckland Art Gallery.