Escape Velocity (2016) is a series of photographs, sculptures and videos, depicting escape formations and vast energy released by exploding rockets. The photo collages are compilations of selected footage of failed rocket firings – which have been exhaustively documented on film for eventual failure analysis since the first V-2 launches in 1942. Elaborating upon the scientific principle of ‘escape velocity’ required for rockets to escape the Earth’s gravitational attraction, von Bismarck opposes the image of tremendous kinetic energy discharged during a rocket takeoff with the ephemeral character of rocket explosions and cloud formations as a metaphor for humans’ ceaseless failed attempts to travel beyond our gravitational bounds and explore deep space.
The archival quality of von Bismarck’s photographic records, is complemented with a series of aluminium sculptures which capture the evanescence and amorphous forms of explosive clouds into permanent ‘Escape Shapes’.
Escape Shapes (Fluchtkörper), 2016 | collage of 10 inkjet prints, 100 x 70 cm
Escape Shapes #1, 2016 | aluminum, marble
Installation view ‘Escape Velocity’, alexander levy, Art Cologne, 2016