gravity turn


Format 1: 132 x 202 cm / 52 x 79.5 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Format 2: 67 x 102 cm / 26.3 x 40.2 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec, custom-made aluminium frame

Orbital launch vehicles like the Ariane 5 commonly take off vertically, and then begin to progressively lean over, usually following a smoothly curved trajectory. Once above the dense part of the atmosphere, the vehicle carefully angles the rocket engine jet, slowly pointing the launcher horizontally, which permits the vehicle to progressively aim at the required orbit while increasing its speed. As the speed grows, the vehicle approaches its target above Earth and when the specified speed and orbital speed are reached, the upper stage engine is shut down. The artwork “gravity turn“ visualises this physical process. The picture was taken during the milestone Ariane 5 VA233 launch at the Guiana Space Center (CSG) near Kourou in French Guiana on November 17, 2016. The launch vehicle and its smoke column built of solid propellant combustion were photographed during the pitchover maneuver about 90 seconds after liftoff, shortly before booster separation. The rocket´s flight path is no longer vertical, the gravity turn places the rocket on the correct heading for its ascent to orbit. Some minutes after the picture was taken, the launcher released four Galileo satellites in orbit, starting the service of the new European Navigation System.

The artwork combines a skywards view photographed by the artist from the ground near the launch pad with a view from sky towards the Earth photographed from an airplane flying over French Guiana.


Personally liable:
Michael Najjar

Design concept & coding: Matthias Hübner,
with support by Marco Land

Accountability for content
The contents of our pages have been created with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the contents' accuracy, completeness or topicality. According to statutory provisions, we are furthermore responsible for our own content on these web pages. In this context, please note that we are accordingly not obliged to monitor merely the transmitted or saved information of third parties, or investigate circumstances pointing to illegal activity. Our obligations to remove or block the use of information under generally applicable laws remain unaffected by this as per §§ 8 to 10 of the Telemedia Act (TMG).

Accountability for links
Responsibility for the content of external links (to web pages of third parties) lies solely with the operators of the linked pages. No violations were evident to us at the time of linking. Should any legal infringement become known to us, we will remove the respective link immediately.

Our web pages and their contents are subject to German copyright law. Unless expressly permitted by law (§ 44a et seq. of the copyright law), every form of utilizing, reproducing or processing works subject to copyright protection on our web pages requires the prior consent of the respective owner of the rights. Unauthorized utilization of copyrighted works is punishable (§ 106 of the copyright law).

Our newsletter

With our newsletter we inform you about us and our offers and events, art fair participations and exhibitions in galleries, museums and art institutions. If you register for our newsletter, we will save your e-mail address, first name(s) and last name, as well as any information you choose to provide on a purely voluntary basis. If you do not wish to consent to this, you can unsubscribe by using the link at the end of every newsletter.

You can revoke your consent to the storage of your data, e-mail address and the use of your data to send the newsletter at any time. This revocation can be effected by notifying us:

In the course of the further development of our website, changes to this privacy policy may become necessary. We therefore recommend that you reread this data protection statement from time to time.