Prints size 150x140 cm
This is not a generated image. The rocket is real, I have found and shot it on the playground of the village in the Mykolayiv region on my way from Kyiv to Kherson. Following my pre-war habit, I entrusted the Google Maps navigator to plot the route, hoping that it knows the best way to get to the city, sleepless due to artillery duels. The route it made could be called "Adventure" if I was driving a tank or at least an off-road vehicle, but in my case the word "Gambling" was more suitable. Fortunately, my car survived, and when the blue line on the navigator screen started to match with an asphalt road, I spotted it in one of the villages that flashed by. A Rocket! Steel deity of the USSR era. One of the thousands, installed on the playgrounds and preparing Soviet children to meet their fate, as it turned out, not in the space at all. What feelings does it evoke now? What city is it flying to? Is it "Kalibr" or "Kindzhal"? How many Soviet children who never grew up in thousands of towns and villages peer at idols like this in the hope that God will come out of this steel machine, as it happened in the theaters of Ancient Greece, and by some miracle will resolve this dead-end reality?
I remembered my long-standing visit to the former military base, Presently the Museum of the Strategic Missile Forces, located somewhere nearby. Where everyone could see and touch the SS-18 "Satan" resting on the grass, look into the blown up, cut and filled with concrete launch silos and examine the underground command posts, reminiscent of old passenger train cars with samovars and electric stoves, where "push-button" officers served. And, of course, listen to the guide - a colonel who once served in this unit. As it often happens with the military, he spelled a lot of digits mixed with letters of the alphabet, denoting, apparently, some kind of military devices, gadgets, prototypes and military installations. If he had taken them from his imagination, none of those present who did not serve in the army would have noticed it anyway. When attention already began to wander from boredom, the guide began to add familiar and more interesting word symbols to the digits: US dollars. And this is exactly what made my visit to the museum memorable for a lifetime - the realization that the entire USSR "scoop" for decades worked hard for this useless, buried in the ground or lying on the grass Machine for the God, hoping for His mercy, denying themselves good food, clothes and medical care. That in these blown up and destroyed silos, beautiful residential buildings, well-groomed parks, comfortable transport and everything else that was lacking in the USSR and still lacking for its descendants were poured with concrete. I just didn’t know yet that in ten years all this goodness created by overwork of millions of people would fall on their heads.
The ruined building that served as the backdrop for this artwork is also real. It is located in Kherson. Once there was a warehouse of the company "Brain", a Ukrainian retailer of office equipment. A few years earlier, I was picking up my new laptop from there, the one I used to finish this artwork yesterday, and during the occupation, Russian cosmonauts set up a military hospital in it. In October 2022, everyone staying there was finally cured and discharged by HIMARS strike. For those who waited and prayed there, the God from the machine took pity and resolved the dead-end reality.