On March 18, 1965, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome launching station, the USSR launched the spacecraft Voskhod 2. On board Colonel Pavel Belyayev and Lieutenant Colonel Aleksey Leonov. On the same day, Leonov was the first man to perform extravehicular activity in space. Leonov walked in the void for almost twelve minutes before returning, not without difficulty, to the spacecraft. Regarding this performance there exist no original photographs because the camera was lost during the re-entry phase. The only photographs picturing the first ever spacewalk have been taken from television records.
On the 40° Anniversary of this event, I remember the event with an action. For a whole week I will remain with my left hand embedded in a Globe made of plaster and I will be forced to “orbit” around this replica of Earth. Thanks to this new condition, accomplishing my ordinary activities (dressing, eating, washing, etc.) will be made difficult or impossible, as they are for a Cosmonaut in absence of gravity. Professional and non-professional photographers, informed in advance of the whereabouts and times of my daily routine, will produce photo and video documentation, which will reach the gallery via Internet as if they were data received from a space mission and as if the gallery became the receiving station. The project is completed with the publishing of an Artist’s book (modified replica of a children’s brochure, from the seventies dedicated to space travel) and the creation of a series of photographic triptychs composed of a photo portrait autographed by the Cosmonaut Leonov, a from a retouched image of the artist walking and a reproduction of “Le Socle du Mond” by Piero Canzoni (1961) a work which, in order to be fully appreciated, needs to be seen from a viewpoint external to our Planet – the point of view of a Spacewalker.
A special thanks for the concession of the images goes to the Manzoni Foundation and to Lilian Bolvinkele, to the Rino Mastrotto Group for the support received.