PROTON, UNITY, ENERGY, BLIZZARD 2000
Jane and Louise Wilson
14th March -6th June
It is a fascinating video installation with four large scale screen showing three sites that belonged to the Russian Space Agency and the Russian Military. The first area was the expendable launch System which housed the Proton rockets. The second was the facility where all the manned missions known as Soyuz Rockets ‘Energia’ rocket or ‘Energy’ in English was a multipurpose carrier rocket that was created to carry the Russian space shuttle Buran. It was abandoned over ten years ago and decommissioned in 1993. The third site was the hangar which housed Buran which collapsed in 2002 and is now abandoned and not in use. As a consequence the space programme no longer exists.
When you position yourself in the centre of the screens you sense the enormity and complex nature of the architecture of the Russian space programme at that time. You feel the sense of the immense vehicles, machinery, equipment and the environment. There is one scene where you witness one of the rockets being taken back to the hanger on a heavy duty train as it was never used due to the closure of the programme and you think what a waste of money, creativity and the possible discovery.
There is a sense of dereliction and abandonment of huge structures that was once were functioning in the Kazakh desert. It shows the manned facilities with the dated furnishings and telecommunications equipment that sit there as if it was a museum that has no visitors. A space that you are now been given a chance to explore and view and visually tread where previously only a selected specially trained individuals were allowed to occupy. I recommend you take a journey and experience some monumental history within this six minute film.