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About Space and Love

View of the installation, the Hermitage Amsterdam , 2013.


Stills from the 15 minutes film "Waiting for a rendezvous" by Yuri Gagarin.

View of the show.

View of the show.


“But maybe we went into outer space
only to experience people for the first time, 
as a reason to love?”
from Andrei Tarkovsky’s "Solaris".

Space exploration is one of those human endeavors in which actual practice and mythology are difficult to distinguish from one another. Myth and reality are tightly intertwined here and form an integral whole in collective consciousness, an epic of conquest, which, decelerating and accelerating, continues to unfold before our very eyes. From time to time, details emerge that shed new light on the mainstream of this epic, details in which reality and myth-making are also inextricably bound up. 

We have long been interested in this subject - in particular, the question of how time spent in outer space affects the individual. When we began to collect information we made a surprising discovery.

The painterly talents of cosmonaut Alexey Leonov are well known. But only a few people are aware that nearly everyone who has spent time in space has later developed a passion for the visual arts as a way of coping with the things they experienced there and communicating them to others. This phenomenon – the irresistible urge to make art – has been termed the Scott syndrome in honor of the American astronaut who first evinced this behavioral shift.

As we worked on this project we noticed that the subject of most of the works by cosmonauts and astronauts  was love in its most various manifestations. Once removed from the context of the Earth, people apparently need to give love and express it creatively.

The total installation  About Space and Love portrays an exhibition of most interesting  artwork by cosmonauts and astronauts.