Controversial work, but also very significant.
What is the moon? There’s “sun,” wind (sun), there’s dangerously charged particles called “moon dust” and human waste – that’s probably what you’re thinking, isn’t it?
But what humans leave on Earth’s 4.5 billion-year-old satellite is not just that. Somewhere on the Moon right now there is extremely significant “work” that few people have gone to. It is an astronaut statue in aluminum, with a relief of the same material.
“Project” named “Fallen Astronaut” by David Scott – Commander of Apollo 15, set up here on August 1, 1971. It is essentially a memorial, to commemorate those who have fallen forever on the way to the conquest of the universe. On the relief plaque are engraved the names of 14 astronauts who, unfortunately, died until then.
The commemorative stele, just 8.5 cm high, carries a meaningful message of great sacrifice. However, this astronaut model has a controversial history behind it.
The model is known to have been designed by Belgian artist Paul van Hoeydonck – who had many works on display at the Waddell Gallery at that time. Her idea is again that of the director of the gallery Louise Tolliver Deutschman, because she wanted a work of art in the universe.
“This is the age of the universe, it’s a race for the stars,” wrote Deutschman in an unpublished memoir, published by Slate in 2013.
“I contacted a lot of people, I didn’t stop until I found a solution.” The project was carried out in secret, until the successful return of Apollo 15 to Earth when the existence of the statue was announced.
However, what is controversial here is that Van Hoeydonck later claimed he had no idea what the statue was intended to be used for. The name “Fallen Astronaunt” – (roughly translated: falling astronaut) was never approved, and he didn’t even want it left on the moon.
Also for this reason, although hailed as “greater than Picasso”, Van Hoeydonck felt ashamed, not even worthy of being considered an artist. Commander David Scott is due to testify before Congress because the statue is a for-profit tool for private companies – something not allowed under national aerospace programs. Waddell’s gallery also went bankrupt three years later.
However, the statue and the message it sends are considered extremely human and is a work of art to be respected.