suprematist satellite


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

The 6.5 tonne satellite EUTELSAT 65 West A is a tri-band satellite designed to target fast-growing video and broadband markets across Latin America. One of the satellite´s main goals is to boost capability in the region ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016. The Ariane 5 VA229 launcher successfully boosted the satellite from the European spaceport in French Guiana to its geosynchronous transfer orbit on March 9, 2016. From there the satellite was maneuvered to geostationary orbit at an altitude of 36,000 km. The conquest of space and the construction of satellites had already appeared as an aesthetic vision in the Russian Constructivist movement in the early 20th century. Kazimir Malevich, who exhibited his first “Black Square” painting in 1915, created his vision of Suprematist satellites five years later in 1920, imagining new objects in space, moving in orbit and creating their own paths. Presciently, he insisted that the form of such a satellite has no relation to the technology of the Earth’s surface, as these objects will float in conditions of weightlessness.

The artwork “suprematist satellite” is a homage to the futuristic vision of Malevich. Especially with regard to their aesthetic appearance, today’s satellites can be considered as abstract sculptures. Drawing on dozens of photographs taken at the S5 Satellite Assembly Building at Spaceport French Guiana, the work is a digital reconstruction which illustrates the technical complexity of a satellite. As they will spend their lifespan in the microgravity of space, satellites defy any aesthetic categorization in relation to the strongest force to shape our life on Earth: the force of gravity. The visual composition of the work anticipates the future weightless environment of the satellite.


Personally liable:
Michael Najjar

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

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