Gazing towards humanity from above, philosophical questions about human existence, a future shaped by science and the space industry. These elements can be found in numerous works by Michael Najjar, and even more so in this ongoing series titled “Outer Space”. Born in Germany and working in Berlin since 1988, Michael Najjar uses photography and video to create an amalgam of real and fictitious elements in his work, with series of images tied by one theme and usually spanning a few years. With Outer Space, the artist takes a global approach by referencing space travel, science and technology, the Universe and exploration, even going to breathtaking altitudes to create this latest series of images and videos. In Najjar’s words, we live in a “transformational time for the space industry and scientific research with huge implications for the future of humankind and the relationship to our homeplanet”. So far, images include a cosmonaut’s graceful training session in a tank full of water, with a superimposed Earth visible through a halo. Lush green plants from the Eden Project offering a glimpse at what a “space garden” of the future might look like. A fascinating image of space, taken by JWST, the telescope that will replace Hubble in 2018. The ALMA antennas in the Atacama Desert, pointed towards an expansive sky with bright stars splattered across the onyx black canvas. Many other images reference historic events, like the final launch of a US space shuttle in 2011, or explore parts of the artist’s cosmonaut training. This ambitious project will culminate with Najjar’s trip on the first spaceflight – he will reach a new frontier by becoming the first artist in space. His experience will become a multimedia performance that will add the finishing touch to what has the potential to become his magnum opus. Visit Michael Najjar’s website here.