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

The Russian Soyuz rocket is now the world's most used space launcher with over 1800 flights since its debut in 1966, far more than any other rocket launcher. More than 60 years ago, the Russian launcher initiated the space race by launching Sputnik, the first satellite placed in orbit, and then by sending the first man into space. Soyuz is a multi-stage launcher, designed to extremely high reliability levels for use in manned and unmanned missions. Over the decades, the launch vehicle has been through several upgrades. Since the retirement of the American Space Shuttle fleet in 2011, the Soyuz rocket and its spacecraft have been the only launcher capable of flying astronauts and cosmonauts to the International Space Station. In 2005, the European Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency gave final approval for the launching of Soyuz rockets from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou. Construction of the new pad was completed in April 2011. The Soyuz rocket engines are ignited by electrically initiated pyrotechnic flares a few seconds before fuel components are introduced into the combustion chamber. During the start sequence the support brackets track the movement of the rocket, freeing the way for liftoff when the rocket and the launch facility form a single dynamic system.

The artwork "ignition" visualizes a Soyuz launcher taking off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 5th April 2019. Mission V22 delivered its payload of four communication satellites into orbit. The launch vehicle is 46 m high and weighs 300 tonnes. The picture captures the rocket at the exact moment it leaves the launch pad. All four boosters are ignited before liftoff to reach full thrust. To capture this unique image, a sound-triggered camera was installed directly on top of the launch tower, a mere 80 m from the rocket during its critical liftoff phase. No camera has ever been installed before at such close range on a launch pad of the Spaceport. The composition highlights the single interactive dynamic system formed by the launch pad, the support brackets and the rocket itself during the first seconds of ignition and liftoff. The support brackets have just opened to release the rocket, powerful flames illuminate the brackets while the smoke escaping through the flame trench envelops the white shining rocket. Although painted olive green, the rocket turns white during liftoff due to the reaction between liquid oxygen and rocket propellant that covers the vehicle in a layer of ice. The artwork gives a simultaneous contradictory impression of powerful acceleration and motionless standstill: the tremendous pressure, the intense heat and the ear-splitting sound waves are all tangible, yet the rocket itself seems to be frozen, suspended in time and space.


Personally liable:
Michael Najjar

Design concept & coding: Matthias Hübner, possible.is
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: studio@michaelnajjar.com

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.