The planet functions as a conscious living organism that reaches into the minds of the crewmembers and begins to reconstruct their surrounding reality with their memories.
In artist Florian Claar’s installation Solaris: second chamber one small part of the “Prometheus”-the orbiting space station in the novel- is recreated in fine George Lucas-like detail complete with a series of hatch doors and porthole windows in the Roppongi gallery, Weißfield – Röntgenwerke AG.
Claar’s interest isn’t so much in recreating a scene from the book, but instead to take an element from the book and use it as a basis to explore his own mind and memory. The main part of the installation is a series of streetlights placed on small brownish islands that form a network of eerie suburban roads. This sculpture is seen again mixed with several layers of space and planetary imagery in a digital video playing in one of the portholes.
Another smaller piece sits in a small alcove to the left of the room. Standing on four small legs, an egg carton-like sculpture created a tiny microcosm of gypsum-white mountains. A projector flashed down upon the little landscape with the shifting colors of seasons and geography making for an entrancing simulation of nature.
In the empty gallery -so quiet on a Friday morning- the whir of the projectors and the mellowed glow of the videos combined to make for a complete dream experience. The combination of the natural, the sci-fi fantastic and the universally modern totem of the streetlight make for a curious beginning to a potential narrative. The familiarity of Claar’s streetlights echoed a sense of being domestic and reassuring, but somehow not entirely so -like being totally lost but knowing you are in your own neighborhood.