This blog and my Instagram account will keep you updated about the "outer space" series.
05 January, 2018
Michael portrays the world´s biggest artificial sun
The world’s biggest artificial sun has been blazing at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Jülich since 2017. Development of new production processes for solar fuels is the focus of this globally unique Synlight facility for solar research. It consists of 149 powerful Xenon short-arc lamps which scientists can concentrate on a target surface of 20 x20 centimetres. If this surface is irradiated with beams of up to 350 kilowatts, a light intensity is produced equivalent to more than 10,000 times the solar radiation on the surface of the Earth. When the lamps are focussed they create temperatures of up to 3,000 degrees Celsius which researchers use to produce fuels such as hydrogen. Hydrogen is widely held to be the fuel of the future as it burns without giving off carbon dioxide. Production of hydrogen involves the splitting of the basic material, water, into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen.
Hydrogen is a crucial basic material for spaceflight, and is used as fuel by rockets, spaceships and satellites. As there’s an abundance of water in space - asteroids, for instance, harbour plentiful reserves - in future solar energy could be used to produce the fuel directly in space. Development of solar fuels is essential not just for spaceflight alone but also for our own lives on Earth because in tomorrow’s world renewable energies will form the backbone of the global energy supply.
Special thanks to:
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Kai Wieghardt, Michel Winand
20 November, 2017
Michael participates in the exhibition “Rivoluzione Galileo. L’arte incontra la scienza”
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) is one of the most famous and important scientists in history. Playing a key role in the 17th century scientific revolution, Galileo remains a towering figure in the transition from natural philosophy to modern science and the transformation of the scientific Renaissance into a scientific revolution. His worldwide fame rests on his radical new concept of the universe first set forth with the publication of his Sidereus nuncius (Starry Messenger, 1610).
The aim of the exhibition “Rivoluzione Galileo. L’arte incontra la scienza” is to visualize his radical new thinking through images of the skies created before and after Galileo. By charting the change from the skies of the astrologers to the skies of astronomers, it shows how these radical new conceptions have evolved into different artistic notions over the past centuries. Next to Galileo’s legacy, the exhibition showcases the profound influence exercised by his discoveries and modern science on arts and culture since the early 1600s. In its unprecedented celebration of the life and work of Galileo in Padua (including his own splendid aquarelles and sketches), this landmark exhibition also presents a series of stunning masterpieces representing seven centuries of world art. Michael Najjar was invited to participate in this major historic exhibition with three key artworks from his “outer space“ series: “orbital ascent“ (2016), “gravitation entanglement” (2014) and his “spacewalk” video (2013).
Artists featured in the show include:
Galileo Galilei, Leonardo da Vinci, Jacopo Ligozzi, Adam Elsheimer, Peter Paul Rubens, Francesco Furini, Justus Sustermans, Jusepe de Ribera, Francesco Maria del Monte, Donato Creti, Étienne-Louis Boullée, William Blake, Gustave Doré, Emile Antoine Bayard, Alphonse de Neuville, Odilon Redon, Georges Méliès, Bruno Taut, Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Lucio Fontana, Thomas Ruff, Michael Najjar, Wolfgang Tillmans, Trevor Paglen, Anish Kapoor.
Curated by Giovanni Carlo Federico Villa and Stefan Weppelmann
Michael took pictures of the world´s largest telescope in China
China built this staggeringly large instrument called the “Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope” (FAST) in the remote and hardly accessible southern, mountainous region of the country. Inaugurated in 2016, the telescope was constructed in a natural sinkhole surrounded by the unique mountains of the Pingtang valley. The telescope has an incedible diameter of 500 m. The surface is made of 4450 triangular metal panels building the form of a geodesic dome. It can be tilted by a computer to change the focus on different areas in the Universe. Radio telescopes use a large, parabolic dish to collect radio waves from distant sources, such as pulsars, black holes and gravitational waves. However one of the main objectives of the instrument is detecting interstellar communication signals – finding signals from alien civilisations.
Michael was privileged to be given a unique opportunity to portrait this extraordinary astronomical instrument.
20 September, 2017
Michael´s work now on view at the 7th Moscow Biennale 2017
The 7th International Moscow Biennale 2017, curated by Yuko Hasegawa, has opened this week at the world famous State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The concept of the main exhibition Clouds⇄Forests focuses on a new ecosystem formed through the circulation of "Cloud Tribes" born in the cloud, and "Forest Tribes" born in an analogue world. Michael Najjar exhibits several large-scale pieces from his celebrated "outer space" series.
Nadim Abbas, Adel Abidin, Nindityo Adipurnomo, Farah Atassi, Kanako Azuma, Matthew Barney, Natalia Bazowska, Bahar Behbahani, Björk, Hussein Chalayan, Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Rohini Devasher, Louise Drulhe, Olafur Eliasson, Justine Emard & Mirai Moriyama, Cécile B. Evans, Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov, Valia Fetisov, "Forensic Architecture", Theaster Gates, Gauri Gill, Marta Gornicka, Alina Gutkina, Joey Holder, Elliott Hundley, Pierre Huyghe, Ali Kazma, Nile Koetting, Siji Krishnan, Alexey Martins, Mathieu Merlet-Briand, Marie-Luce Nadal, Michael Najjar, Koji Nakazono, Dashi Namdakov, Uriel Orlow, Anastasia Potemkina, Laure Prouvost, Aurora Sander, Susan Schuppli, Sayaka Shimada, Wieki Somers, Yuken Teruya, Sissel Tolaas, Michael Tolmachev, Ryan Trecartin, Hanna Tuulikki, Alexander Vinogradov and Vladimir Dubossarsky, "Where Dogs Run", Robert Zhao Renhui, Marina Zurkow.
Special thanks to Yuko Hasegawa and her team
And to Wemhöner Collection
Michael participates at the 7th Moscow Biennale 2017
The 7th International Moscow Biennale 2017 is curated by Yuko Hasegawa, one of the most influential and notable curators in the international art world. The main exhibition entitled “Clouds ⇄ Forests“ is a proposition in a time of crisis that calls for the establishment of new relationships in our world. The concept puts the spotlight on artists as a creative tribe who transition, expand and dissipate from forest to cloud, rebuilding the subjectivity of spectators and demonstrating that creativity is essential to the creation of new environmental spheres.
Michael Najjar has been invited to participate at the Biennale with several large-scale artworks from his celebrated “outer space“ series. The center piece of his presentation will be a 6 meters wide triptych of his work “liquid time“.
The Moscow Biennale takes place at the Tretjakow Gallery in Moscow from 18 September 2017 - 18 January 2018.
Panel discussion on occasion of the exhibition “Planetary Echoes“
The panel discussion “Exploring the implications of human settlement in space“ was held on the 5th of May 2017 at Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation, Berlin.
Today the technology to reach nearby planets is possible. Even though many long-term technical challenges still need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, selfsustaining human presence on another planet, imagining humans as a multi planetary species is not a mere fantasy anymore. Against this backdrop and on occasion of the exhibition “Planetary Echoes“ at Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung, Berlin, the interdisciplinary panel discussion addressed the imagination of future habitats on other planets and moons in the arts, fiction and science at the beginning of the 21st century. It thereby attempted to interweave the discourse into the very fabric of society today, and aimed at connecting artistic research and the abstract theoretic sciences on an international level.
Nelly Ben Hayoun
Experience designer. Head of Nelly Ben Hayoun Studio, London
Embraces multidisciplinary approaches, resulting in unique subversive experiences.
Assembled the International Space Orchestra (ISO) - the world first orchestra of space scientists and astronauts at NASA. www.nellyben.com
Xavier de Kestelier
Head of Design Technology and Innovation at Hassell Studio, London
Works with the European Space Agency (ESA). Explores the possibilities of 3D printing to construct lunar and martian habitations. www.hassellstudio.com
Sir Tim Smit
Music producer, entrepreneur, archeologist. Director of Lost Gardens of Heligan,
chief executive and co-founder of the Eden Project, Cornwall. www.edenproject.com
Curator, writer, art director in the international mediation of contemporary cultural reflexivity beyond disciplinary boundaries. www.studiolukasfeireiss.com
24 April, 2017
Video trailer of the exhibition opening "Planetary Echoes“
19 April, 2017
Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation Berlin presents Michael´s new solo exhibition "Planetary Echoes“.
The Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation presents the solo exhibition “Planetary Echoes“ by Michael Najjar. The exhibition focusses on the idea of terraforming and future human settlements in space. Michael’s photo and video compositions suggest formal and thematic similarities between our own home planet and other moons and planets in the solar system. The various levels of similarity between terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments shown in the exhibition correspond perfectly with the focus of the Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation program. The cosmic laws postulated by Ehrhardt and his contemporaries, who were inspired by German Lebensphilosophie (a philosophical tendency rejecting rationalism and emphasizing human experience), identified congruencies between the microcosm and the macrocosm - a theme that echoes in the visionary dimensions of Michael’s new artworks mostly taken during a 3 weeks travel through Iceland in February 2017.
Opening: 21 April 2017, 7 - 9 pm
Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung
Auguststr. 75 - 10117 Berlin - Germany
Exhibition dates: 22 April - 18 June 2017
Tue–Sun 11 am – 6 pm, Thurs 11 am – 9 pm
Special opening hours during Gallery Weekend:
28 April, 11 am - 21 pm
UK Business Traveller Magazine features “Space Suite“ on the cover
In its March 2017 edition UK based Business Traveller - the world leading magazine for frequent corporate traveller - features Michael Najjar´s “Space Suite“ on the cover. In October 2015 Michael Najjar unveiled the world´s first futuristic “Space Suite“ at the Kameha Grand Zurich, Switzerland. He has created a truly out-of-this-world experience - an entire futuristic space station housed in a new hotel building. The basic idea underpinning the Space Suite is to create an immersive environment which makes hotel guests - or crew members - feel like they’re living on an actual space station. The “Space Suite“ was created by Michale Najjar in 2015 for the Kameha Grand Zurich Hotel, nominated and shortlisted in 2016 for the European Hotel Design Award for the best new Hotel Suite in Europe.
Michael Najjar and his team have just returned from a three week photo- and video shooting in Iceland. The spectacular footage they shot forms the raw material for new artworks on terraforming and climate change. Terraforming is the process whereby a hostile environment, i.e. a planet that is too cold, too hot, or has an unbreathable atmosphere, is altered to make it suitable for human life. This could involve modifying its temperature, atmosphere, surface topography, and ecology. The artificial creation of a sustainable ecosystem on a lifeless planet like Mars is a fascinating vision that might one day guarantee our survival as a species.
The new artworks will be presented for the first time at the upcoming exhibition "Planetary Echoes" at the Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung Berlin in April this year. In 1938 German photographer and filmmaker Alfred Ehrhardt undertook a two-month photo and film expedition across Iceland. This adventurous journey led him into untouched "primal landscape" shaped by glaciers and volcanoes, where he hoped to gain insights into the origins of the Earth. Accompanied by Dieter Jaufmann, Michael Najjar filmed and photographed many of the same locations that Alfred Ehrhardt visited almost a century ago. Ehrhardt’s goal of discovering the Earth´s origins is paired to the most existential question of the 21st century: saving the Earth’s future.
Production company: Pegasus Pictures, Reykjavik
Pegasus organisation: Bryn Birgisdóttir
Video camera operator: Dieter Jaufmann
Mountain guide: Stefan Mantler
Technical support: Hasselblad, DRS Berlin