Halil Altindere’s project Space Refugee addresses the flows of refugees, a truly global issue, in an extensive project composed of several ensembles of works, which are partly on show in the context of the 2017 festival Contemporary Art in Traditional Museums. Framing an ironic response to the pervasive negative attitudes and racist stereotypes with which large parts of the European population view the refugees from areas ravaged by war and terror, Space Refugee proposes a sanctuary for refugees in outer space, reached by a fictional Palmyra space mission.
The presentation in the Museum of Cosmonautics includes virtual reality video that lets visitors journey through space to the planet Mars: the image displayed by the VR headset adapts to the wearer’s movements, and integration of footage shot with an actual camera into the VR video makes for a highly immersive experience—the viewer might almost think he or she is actually hurtling through outer space.
Halil Altındere was born in Mardin, Turkey, in 1971 and lives in Istanbul. He participated in numerous important international exhibitions including the Berlin Biennale, São Paulo Biennial, Istanbul Biennial, Sharjah Biennial, and documenta 12 in Kassel. His art is informed by post-national concepts of hybridity and diversity and committed to progressive social and political change in Turkey. Some works also reflect on processes of exclusion in the Western-dominated art world and the neurotic feelings of marginality they inspire.
Museum of Cosmonautic and Rocketry, a branch of the State Museum of the History of St Petersburg, is located in Ioannovsky ravelin of the Peter and Paul Fortrress built in the first half of the 18th century. There in 1930’s the first in the USSR experimental and gas dynamic laboratory on constructive design of rocket engines was based. The museum was opened in 1973, it was named after Valentin Petrovich Glushko, a Soviet engineer and designer of rocket engines.
The exposition reflects the history of the gas dynamics laboratory providing a background of the development of national rocket engine building and space exploration. In the museum you can see real engines for Vostok, Soyuz, Proton carrier rockets, trigger mechanism of a spaceship Soyuz-16, the models of the samples of rocket and space technique, the original equipment and garments of cosmonauts — protective suits, heat-proof suits, you can also watch a video about the history of space exploration.
Address: Peter and Paul Fortress, Ioannovsky ravelin
Closest metro station: Gorkovskaya, Sportivnaya
Tel.: +7 (812) 230 6431
Museum hours: Thursday – Tuesday
23-30 September 11:00-19:00, starting from the 1st October 11:00-18:00